To answer the question “Can you deposit cash at an ATM?”, the answer is yes, you can – but not without some important caveats. For example, some ATMs don’t accept cash deposits, or you may have to find an ATM that’s part of your bank or in a participating network. Let’s find out how to find an ATM that takes cash deposits, how the process works and what to do if you use an online bank.
How to deposit cash at an ATM
While the specific steps may vary by ATM machine and bank, many follow a similar order of operations. Let’s walk through some of the basics of a typical cash deposit and look at some considerations to keep in mind along the way.
- Locate a cash deposit ATM: Many financial institutions keep a list of in-network ATM machines on their website or in their official banking app (including which ones accept cash deposits).
- Prepare your cash: Before stepping out, counting your cash can save you from having to double back if any bills were left behind.
- Sign into the ATM: Follow the prompts by inserting your card, choose the cash deposit option and specify the bank account you'd like to deposit your funds into.
- Insert your cash into the deposit slot: Many ATM machines these days take deposits without envelopes. Some older ATMs may have a small access panel that you can lift open to reveal the deposit envelopes. A newer ATM may simply dispense them out of a slot during the transaction. ATMs that do require an envelope may require you to fill out information, like the deposit amount and account number, on the envelope. Contact your bank for more information on if their ATMs require envelopes for deposits.
- Verify your deposit: The ATM may ask you to confirm the deposit amount. While you might be in a hurry, verifying that the ATM machine counted your cash correctly can help prevent any inconsistencies in the deposit amount.
- Keep a record of the transaction: The ATM machine may provide receipts in printed, email or text message form. Keeping a record of the transaction can be helpful should any issue regarding the deposit arise.
Staying safe while depositing cash
It can be helpful to make sure you keep your cash and debit card PIN safe while using an ATM in public. Picking an ATM in a well-lit area and staying aware of your surroundings can go a long way toward staying protected while making a cash deposit or withdrawal. Additionally, keeping your cash cloaked in an envelope or something similar can help prevent attracting unwanted attention.
Online-only banks and cash deposits
Many online banks don’t handle cash deposits directly. Instead, many partner with an ATM network to let customers deposit and withdraw cash. If, however, your online bank doesn’t have any participating ATMs, you may have several other options to deposit cash into your online bank account.
- Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT): If you have an account at a traditional bank that has ATMs and cash deposit facilities, you may be able to deposit the cash there and then transfer it electronically to your online bank account.
- Cashier's checks: Another option may be cashier's checks. If your cash is below the provider’s maximum limit, you may be able to obtain a cashier's check and deposit it through a mobile check deposit, if your online bank provides one.
- Brick-and-mortar partnerships: Some online-only banks maintain partnerships with brick-and-mortar retailers and supermarkets that allow customers to safely deposit cash. This may come with an added fee.
Can you deposit cash at an ATM that isn’t your bank?
Most banks don’t allow you to deposit cash at an ATM that’s out-of-network. The banks that do accept cash deposits through out-of-network ATMs often charge an extra fee — and, typically, require longer processing periods. You may also be charged by the ATM vendor.
Is there an ATM cash deposit limit?
While many cash deposit ATM machines don’t cap the total deposit amount, many limit the total number of bank notes you can insert. Say, for example, your bank’s ATMs only accepts a maximum of 40 bills — the cash deposit limit then ranges anywhere between $40 and $4,000, depending on the bills you insert into the machine.
While you can deposit cash at an ATM, you’ll likely need to find one from your bank or a cash deposit ATM that’s in-network. Online banks that don’t have a participating ATM network may have other options, like cash deposit locations at certain retail outlets or mobile check deposit facilities that can process cashier's checks made out to yourself. Familiarizing yourself with your bank’s ATM cash deposit policy can clarify important questions regarding their fees, deposit limits and where to find a cash deposit ATM.
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