ATM machines and the restriction of cash flow : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

If this rambles a bit - I apoloze in advance, it is after 1am ... and I've been up since 5am --- eeks --- yesterday!

Just had a frightening phone call from a very close friend who had just returned from a training school in another state. He is one of 4 senior technicians in this state who maintain ATM machines that are on bank property.

BTW: He has a very interesting take on y2k, thinks it is a non-event in itself, but rather merely a tool in a larger problem. His view is that y2k was an intentionally created situation to deflect everyone's attention away from the real issue ... when I ask him what he thinks is really going on ... he answers "Forget about y2k, watch the government and the bankers. Then quickly changes the subject everytime."

(First of all, for this man to call after midnight is VERY unusual under any circumstances ... timing of the call spoke volumes about his concern! And second, the tone of his voice sent shivers down my spine, not an easy thing to do.)

The gist of his call was to inform me about the training he had just completed. He said that they were there for 2 days to learn how to install and set-up (over the next week or so) a new generation of 'smart' ATM's, which have already been delivered to the banks. These new machines will have two dispensers. One handling $50's and the other $100's.

HIS directly stated reason - a bank official at the training told the group that they wanted to gain better control of their ATM operations and the costs of doing ATM tranactions. By going to the larger bills and limiting availability, it will save the bank money.

He added a few personal comments and observations: "Besides that - individuals will now HAVE to go into the bank during working hours to get change, as very few places will make change for 50's and 100's." He noted that almost everywhere you go lately, there is a sign that reads "No Bills Larger than $20!" or something to the effect that "This establishment gives out a maximumm of $20 change."

(One example that I have personally noted is at an area gas station which has even posted a sign that reads "Payment for Exact Amount of Purchase Only - No Change Given.")

He laughed, and added: "Now banks can keep even better records of who is withdrawing what. Next I bet their gonna make us fill out a form telling them where we are going to spend the money and how much of the money is going to be spent there. They're tightening the noose! These (expletive deleted) bankers want control of THEIR (expletive deleted) money every step of the way ... the more steps they control the more they can charge ... "

As a side note - he also told me that at least one bank's policy for disbursement of cash from one of their machines will be $200 max per day for customers of that bank and $50 for non-bank customers.

As has been already noted here on the forum ... Ruhh Rohh Raggy!

For you cynics out there - I do know that among the banks that this man works at include: Wells Fargo, First Interstate, NorWest, as well as several locally owned and operated institutions.

As for the state, I ain't gonna tell ya, cuz I'm ....

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 10, 1999


The last thing banks want it more customers using human tellers. They cost ten times as much as ATM's. Actually, with the silly fees that they add to ATM withdrawls, they are making money off ATM machines. They certainly don't make money from live tellers.

As for control of cash, they can do that by limiting withdrawal amounts. But they won't because it would cause people to complain. The last thing they want is news coverage of people complaining about not being able to get money out of the banks.

Just look at the amount of liquidity that the Fed is pumping into the system, and the cash they say they are printing up, and you know how they will try to handle this situation. Just like every other crisis for the last 15 years -- pump in money to keep the system going.

-- You Know... (notme@nothere.junk), December 10, 1999.

Something here doesn't make sense, and I think it's me wasting my time answering this piece of non-sensical garbage.

-- Servant (, December 10, 1999.

Dear Youknow - The cash they are printing has nothing to do with liquidity they are creating. that cash is accounted for in M1 and if it's in the form of Demand Deposits or Cash Held doesn't matter.

The LIQUIDITY they are generating is through Repo's, and loan generating instruments which are replacements for "reserves" in a bank's portfolio.

Just a litle nitpicky correction

Night train

-- jes an ol economics NON-challenged footballer (nighttr@ain.lane), December 10, 1999.

As currency creates inconveniences, the public will DEMAND better electronic currency technologies. This is how the smartcards/imbeddeds for example might "hide in plain sight"

-- Hokie (, December 10, 1999.

I work for a bank in the Computer Security department. I haven't seen nor heard about any such ATMs being delivered, programmed, installed or put into production. Such things would necessarily pass thru our department as part of the implementation process.

We're not the biggest, but we do cover 6 states and have assets in the 10 Billion range so maybe we're on the short end of the stick as far as delivery goes.

I'll keep my eyes open for them.

-- Jay (, December 10, 1999.

I use Wells Fargo in SoCal and still have $300 atm available daily. 1st Interstate was bought by Wells Fargo several years ago and to my knowledge no longer exists. I remember seeing signs that say "will not accept any bills over $20" since I was a kid (that's a long time ago). My first cousin has a friend who divorced a guy who used to be a security guard for a big bank (I won't tell you where) who knows somebody who overheard a guy on the phone at the airport who couldn't get change for a 50...

-- Uncle Bob (, December 10, 1999.

Sorry, don't buy it. First, Y2k is the real issue, no matter what gets piggybacked on it. 25+ years of coding tells me that. Second, ATMs can spit out any kind of bill they want - it's programmable. And the programming can limit how much you get, etc.

This is garbage.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), December 10, 1999.

You don't deliver new ATMs, costing tens of thousands of dollars a pop, just to change the amounts distributed in the cash drawers. That's a simple change to the control program in the controlling processor. Just plug in the new dollar values, voila. It's all easily configurable.

-- NotBuyingIt (At@All.Yup), December 10, 1999.

Hey y'all - don't shoot the messenger ... please???? Just passing on information from a person I believe to be honest and truthful.

not buying it - current ATM's in local area are single dispenser type - only give out $20's. Most are probably at least 10 years old.

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 10, 1999.

Another set of observations:

1) From what my friend tells me, this change ONLY affects ATM's physically located at the bank's premises. Does not include remote siting, i.e. convenience stores, shopping centers, etc.

2) NorWest Bank Corp has also bought out Wells Fargo Bank Corp ... there is a 10 year conversion process. The branch office locations in 1 or 2 states are being switched over per year.

3) With all of these mergers, I am VERY glad I do not have any bank accounts at all.

-- hiding in plain (sight@edge. of no-where), December 10, 1999.

Wells Fargo (who purchased the now-defunct First Interstate) has been up to no good. They were one of the first to implement the "sweep accounts". As per a post I made a few days ago, this week they sent a notice to all their business card customers advising of new credit terms. The new terms state that beginning next month (coincidence?) Wells Fargo, without notice and at their discretion, can reduce cardholders' credit limits. Further, they can, without notice, restrict your available credit to the amount of your last payment regardless of the credit limit. I got a call from them yesterday with a new *special time-limited offer* for their business card holders. They advised me that if I transfer my balance from any other credit card, they will increase my credit limit by the amount of the credit limit on the transferred card. A lot of good that would do, given that according to their new credit terms, it doesn't matter what the credit limit is, as Wells Fargo can, without notice, reduce it to zero.

-- (, December 10, 1999.

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