Reliability

Before an ATM is placed in a public place, it typically has undergone extensive testing with both test money and the backend computer systems that allow it to perform transactions. Banking customers also have come to expect high reliability in their ATMs,[76] which provides incentives to ATM providers to minimise machine and network failures. Financial consequences of incorrect machine operation also provide high degrees of incentive to minimise malfunctions.[77] ATMs and the supporting electronic financial networks are generally very reliable, with industry benchmarks typically producing 98.25% customer availability for ATMs[78] and up to 99.999% availability for host systems that manage the networks of ATMs. If ATM networks do go out of service, customers could be left without the ability to make transactions until the beginning of their bank's next time of opening hours. This said, not all errors are to the detriment of customers; there have been cases of machines giving out money without debiting the account, or giving out higher value notes as a result of incorrect denomination of banknote being loaded in the money cassettes.[79] The result of receiving too much money may be influenced by the card holder agreement in place between the customer and the bank.[80][81] Errors that can occur may be mechanical (such as card transport mechanisms; keyp ds; hard disk failures; envelope deposit mechanisms); software (such as operating system; device driver; application); communications; or purely down to operator error. To aid in reliability, some ATMs print each transaction to a roll paper journal that is stored inside the ATM, which allows both the users of the ATMs and the related financial institutions to settle things based on the records in the journal in case there is a dispute. In some cases, transactions are posted to an electronic journal to remove the cost of supplying journal paper to the ATM and for more convenient searching of data. Improper money checking can cause the possibility of a customer receiving counterfeit banknotes from an ATM. While bank personnel are generally trained better at spotting and removing counterfeit cash,[82][83] the resulting ATM money supplies used by banks provide no guarantee for proper banknotes, as the Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany has confirmed that there are regularly incidents of false banknotes having been dispensed through bank ATMs.[84] Some ATMs may be stocked and wholly owned by outside companies, which can further complicate this problem. Bill validation technology can be used by ATM providers to help ensure the authenticity of the cash before it is stocked in an ATM; ATMs that have cash recycling capabilities include this capability.