Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker says the ATM is the only useful
financial innovation of the past few decades. He's only sort of
In any case, ATMs are a constant point of contention. Paying up
to $6 to gain access to $20 of my own money is a bit rich.
Bank of America
) , and
) have all raised ATM fees over the past few years. Why? Because
they can. Get used to it.
But here's the latest ATM rip-off, according to Humans
[A] daily sound that is not quite what it seems is the
comforting whirr of the cash point. The assumption most
people jump to is that the sound is produced by rollers
delivering the notes to the collection slot. In fact, the sound
is an entirely artificial addition to the process.
The noise is produced by a speaker and purely included in the
transaction to reassure you that your money is on its way.
Without the added noise, the ATM would be practically silent with
its moving parts on the other side of a brick wall.
The claim brought a gaggle of naysayers questioning whether this
is actually true. For their part, Humans Invent pointed to a more
well-known source, the U.K.'s
, confirming that, yes, the ATM whirr is indeed simulated.
If it is true, I don't get the point. I'm not reassured when the
ATM goes clickity-clack. I'm reassured when the money comes out.
More notably, I'm reassured by the FDIC guarantee sticker on the
Any Fool engineers who can set the record straight? Let us know
in the comment section below.
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