How to Deposit Cash at an ATM Safely and Securely: Tips and Tricks

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  • Using ATMs is convenient, accessible, fast, and cost-effective.
  • Be on the lookout for ATM risks like credit card fraud, theft, skimming, shoulder surfing, trapping, etc.
  • Choose the right ATM location, check out the surroundings and use an ATM with surveillance cameras in a bright place.
  • Don’t share your PIN or other credentials with anyone.
  • Don’t deposit a lot of cash at once and try envelope depositing.

Imagine if you still had to wait hours in the bank whenever you wanted access to your money. Thanks to the remarkable inventions of ATMs, the world has become a less stressful place. These handy machines work as bank representatives without the unnecessary chit-chat. 

Those who work nine-to-five can’t make bank hours, and if you need to deposit cash into your savings or checking account, you can’t rush to the bank. So, the question stands: can you deposit cash at an ATM?

Depositing cash through ATMs is crucial for people’s time, energy, resources, and convenience. ATMs are the most revolutionary invention of the century because they allow flexibility and freedom! 

Join us to learn how to deposit cash at ATMs, the cash deposit limit, and everything related to an ATM deposit!

The Benefits of Using ATMs

Besides being available 24/7, ATMs provide other benefits for the average salary-taker. Accessibility and convenience are just two of the benefits they offer.


You can expect to find an ATM on just about every corner. They are intended for those looking to make financial transactions whenever and wherever they have time. ATMs are usually placed near big establishments like hospitals, airports, and railway stations, where more people need money.  

The convenience of having an ATM right across the street from you allows using various banking services, cash deposit and payment options. 


One of the grand advantages of ATMs is having access to cash at any time of the day! In the past, people could withdraw their cash until 3 pm, and they had to travel to the nearest bank or take a trip to town. ATMs eliminated the need to wait in the bank and gave an equal chance to get your ATM cash no matter the time. ATMs are placed everywhere and you can even find two in Antarctica. 


Get money from your account within seconds! ATMs speedily complete transactions and payment options. You can withdraw cash abroad where the bank has representation. The user can access the funds once the transfer is ready, and IMT transactions are processed momentarily. Regular banks may take days to complete your transfer compared to ATMs. 


A nearby ATM saves time from driving to the bank, waiting in line, filling out forms, taking out a number, waiting for the transaction, etc. Can you make a cash deposit at an ATM? Yes, you can. ATMs are also cost-effective for banks because they spend three times more just to service their clients for transactions. 

The Risks of Depositing Cash at ATMs

Banks offer the safety and protection of the facility, while ATMs lack the security factor. Whenever there’s money involved, there could be trouble, so besides avoiding visits to the ATM at night, you should watch out for the following. 

Fraud and Theft

You are exposed when taking money from an ATM, making you the perfect prey for criminals. Always check the surroundings, what and who is beside you while using the machine. It’s a good idea to have someone accompany you. ATMs can be a target for hopeful thieves who wait for users to withdraw their cash. 

Credit cards are often misplaced, therefore, a target of fraud. If someone finds your lost credit card, they could try to access your funds illegally. This means you can be left with no funds, or your credit card can be canceled. 


Skimming is the most common form of cash card fraud, and it happens due to the outdated technology of some banks. Criminals access credit card information, like pins and transactions. It is a way of stealing or rigging credit and debit cards by putting hidden recording devices in the ATM. 

Your credit card’s magnetic stripe is also at risk when you put it in the ATM. In 2022 alone, 161.000 credit cards were compromised through skimming. It’s no news that thieves use their hacker abilities to figure out how to take advantage of the ATM’s outdated software. 

Card Trapping

Card trapping involves trapping of credit cards when someone tries to use the machine. It’s a type of security attack where criminals trap a user’s card to obtain credit card details. There are a few ways robbers practice trapping credit cards, like using devices with tape, wire, and thread to hold down the card.

To prevent card trapping, you can try to follow a few basic rules. 

  • Never accept help from strangers while you are using the ATM
  • Never disclose or let anyone see your PIN
  • Lock your credit card and connect with the ATM’s operator or the bank for further questions and concerns
  • Immediately report that the ATM you used is broken and check with the bank if the transaction you were trying to make was completed

Shoulder Surfing

Shoulder surfing is a robbery tactic where criminals use direct observation techniques, like looking over someone’s shoulder to gather information. There are a few types of shoulder surfing attacks. Direct observation is when they get authentication information by direct monitoring. The other form of shoulder surfing is recording personal information for later. 

The stranger views your device screen and keypad to memorize confidential information. It’s one of the ATM risks on our list that require the attacker to be in close proximity. Most common stolen data include credit card numbers, PINs, passwords, and a lot of other private information. 

Shoulder surfing happens in areas where the attacker can blend in, go unnoticed, and disappear quickly. Watch out for shoulder surfing in crowded places, when using public Wi-Fi, during public transport, using your phone in public, and when using the ATM. 

Phishing Scams

Scams are common and can sometimes go unnoticed. A stranger may claim to have found your credit card or pretend to be a salesperson who wants your credit card info for some unbelievable offer. 

One such case in New York involved seniors and ATMs. After the user enters the PIN, a stranger will approach and drop cash behind them on the ground. The scammer will tap them on the shoulder, seemingly letting them know of the dropped cash. In the meantime, the scammer will take out the user’s credit card and replace it with a dummy card. Then they immediately leave and try to spend or take out the money elsewhere. 


Tips for Safe and Secure ATM Deposits

Choose the Right ATM

Can you deposit cash at an ATM that isn’t your bank? Yes, you can deposit cash, but unfortunately not all ATMs accept cash. The safest option is to use an ATM from your bank. Banks operating only online don’t allow cash, so you might have a problem. 

The bank determines cash deposits, so make sure you are familiar with the rules of the bank. 

Check the Location and Surroundings

When you arrive at your ATM, check the surroundings and make sure you are not followed or monitored. Don’t let anyone see your information. 

Use the ATM when everyone’s finished if you want to be extra careful. Cover the keyboard and ask someone to accompany you to avoid physical attacks and robberies. Avoid going to deserted ATMs after midnight to escape lurking criminals. 

Try using the local mall for speed and security because you will be in a public establishment with cameras. Don’t withdraw lots of cash in crowded areas, and examine whether the machine is in working shape. 

Choose a Well-lit and Busy ATM

The best way to avoid risks while making cash deposits or transfers is to choose a well-lit and busy area with lots of eye-witnesses. You can find plenty near stores, cafes, restaurants, malls, etc. 

Having other people around you will make you feel safer because you can ask for help. However, be careful of those that could be side-eyeing your credit card, so don’t get too close to someone you don’t know. A bright atmosphere will ease your transaction process because you will have both visibility and protection. 

Use an ATM with Surveillance Cameras

Almost all ATMs have surveillance cameras, which is excellent if your credit card’s been stolen or you have encountered issues while making a deposit. They help identify thieves, potential issues, tweaks, and cyber surveillance. 

The ATM’s surveillance camera adds credibility to the financial institution and protection for the customer. An ATM that has surveillance will be less attractive for a thief to approach than one that does not have any security protocols. 

Protect Your Personal Information

Only you should know your credentials, as they can easily be manipulated. Your personal information needs protection from scammers, skimmers, and thieves because they take advantage of outdated ATM software. Don’t use public Wi-Fi too much, and don’t stay on your phone for too long while riding public transportation. 

Cover the Keypad

If you have to use the ATM in a crowded area, try covering the keypad with your other hand. Asking a friend to come with you could be beneficial because they, too, can help block your confidential information from prying eyes. 

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Before making a deposit, transaction or payment, skim your surroundings for any peculiarities, especially if you are in a crowded space. Try to remember who was around you before inserting your card, what was going on, the time, and any other small details you would think unimportant. They can be worthwhile in case you run into issues while using the ATM. 

Avoid Sharing Your PIN

Your PIN holds the key to your funds, and sharing it with someone you don’t really know can have dire consequences. Pins and passwords don’t have to be shared with anyone, not even family members. 

When you use the ATM with someone, ask them to turn around. They will understand if they know the importance of safety when it comes to finances. 

Protect Your Card

Keep your card where you can easily access it, like your trusty wallet. Make sure that the card is safe from getting scratched or damaged by other cards, or put it in a plastic cover in your wallet. Don’t show your cards to anyone either, as the numbers on them can easily get noticed. 

Check for Card Skimmers and Other Devices

Before putting in your PIN, check for skimmers or devices within the ATM. If you notice anything unusual or any problems with the card processing, the machine might be rigged. Issues from the beginning are a clear sign of a faulty ATM, so it’s best to move to another location. 

Avoid Card Trapping

If the ATM is giving you trouble from the get-go, it’s best to look for another nearby ATM. This manifests with the card hardly getting processed and then finally getting stuck. If someone offers to help, take it as a sign that they are trying to replace your credit card with a fake one and escape with your savings. The trapping can also happen within the machine, with your credentials being recorded when the card gets stuck. 

Report Any Suspicious Activity or Transactions

If you have transaction issues, the best thing to do is to contact your bank. If you let them know that there are issues with their ATM, the professional thing would be to act immediately. They would also be able to inform you if any transactions have been processed or if there is any suspicious activity. 

Secure Your Cash

If you need to deposit cash at an ATM, secure your cash before you do anything else. Check the surroundings to see if there is anyone suspicious. When taking the cash out of your bag or pocket, try to be as unnoticeable as possible. Go through the depositing stages quickly to avoid attracting any attention. Don’t accept anyone’s help, and it’s best to have someone accompany you for safety issues. 

Use Deposit Envelopes

If you want to be extra sure with your depositing processes, try switching to envelopes instead. Deposit envelopes are pre-printed, postage-paid envelopes recommended for mailing online check deposits. So, can you deposit cash at an ATM with a deposit envelope provided by the ATM? 

Yes, you can. Before inserting the envelope containing the cash, fill out all the required information and confirm the deposit amount at the ATM. Be sure to print out a receipt before you remove your card. 

Avoid Depositing Large Amounts of Cash

If possible, don’t deposit large sums using the ATM. Depositing a large sum of money is risky, no matter how advanced the ATM appears to be or how safe the location of the ATM is. The best idea is to make the transaction through your bank. 

Be Aware of Your Account Balance and Transactions

Don’t be surprised if you try to withdraw a large sum and your credit card is not responding. You might have exhausted your resources and don’t have any funds left. Always know your account balance, previous transactions, and spending so you know where your money went and avoid unnecessary panic. 

The Future of ATM Deposits

Like all technological inventions, ATMs are no strangers to upgrades. Although they are pretty revolutionary, ATMs have a bright future when it comes to advancements. 

Advances in ATM Technology

The ATMs are in their renaissance period, with tons of advancements rising every day. Some examples of newly developed ATM technology include: 

  • Full-service ATMs, personalized ATMs 
  • Cardless opportunities 
  • Conversion to EMV (Visa, Europay, MasterCard)
  • Analysis and evaluation of errors sent to internal systems by ATMs
  • Active customer support 
  • Online assistance and scanning opportunities
  • Direct phone calls and emails
  • Customer journey personalization 
  • ATM data analytics 
  • Contactless withdrawals

The Impact of Digital Banking and Mobile Payments

Digital banking and mobile payments have tremendously decreased the need to go to the bank with their cost-effective capabilities. You can pay bills, make transfers, and deposit with a few clicks, without leaving your couch. ATMs, however, still remain the most practical way to get to your physical cash, but online services make the payments and transaction processes run smoothly and swiftly. 

The Role of ATMs in the Future of Banking

ATMs will keep their main role in the future of banking. Although everyone moves online, you can’t get your physical money from anywhere else other than a bank or an ATM. ATMs might be more useful in the future, they may implement smart features and other beneficial services. 


ATMs are multipurpose money-giving machines that bank customers use to deposit and withdraw their money. They provide you with tons of benefits like not waiting in line for hours or making small-talk with the bankers. With ATMs, you get your money whenever and wherever you want. 

Besides all the comfort, using an ATM carries risks. Make sure to use ATMs in bright places and buzzing areas. ATMs are a target for criminals too, so when you are working with your finances, keep safety as a top priority. 


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