Must banks provide ATMs?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Banks are not required to provide customers with automated teller machines (ATMs). Banks typically provide ATMs as a convenience for customers who need to conduct certain transactions, such as withdrawing cash or checking account balances, when the bank is closed.

Although ATMs began appearing in the 1970s, their widespread use for a variety of banking transactions is a recent phenomenon. In the 1970s, ATMs were usually located inside the bank, could only be used by bank customers to make withdrawals, and were viewed by banks as a potential way to save money – the cost of ATM transactions is less than the cost of hiring, training, and employing tellers to perform similar functions. In the 1980s, ATM technology advanced, allowing customers of one bank to use another bank’s ATM. Also, ATMs began to be placed in more convenient locations for customers, including grocery stores, shopping malls, and gas stations. These changes meant that by the 1990s ATMs had become a routine part of everyday life for most people. While ATMs have become an important aspect of individual banking, there is no requirement that banks supply ATMs for its customers.

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