These days, many financial transactions are done digitally. But if you end up with cash, you might be wondering if you can deposit it at an ATM. The short answer: Yes, it is possible.
However, not all ATMs accept cash and some of them charge fees. So, if you want to deposit money at an ATM, learn how to choose the right one and what are the next steps.
Before going to make a deposit
If you have money that you want to deposit through an ATM, it’s a good idea to do a little prep work. First, you will need to locate an ATM that accepts cash deposits. “Not every bank or ATM will offer this feature,” says Anthony Martin, CEO of Choice Mutual Insurance Agency.
He says your best bet is usually an ATM associated with your bank or its network. For example, Allpoint is a network of approximately 55,000 ATMs around the world that allows customers of participating banks, credit unions, and prepaid card providers to use them free of charge. To find an ATM in the network, you can usually use your bank’s website or mobile app to search by location.
You can also deposit money at some out-of-network ATMs. Remember that if you find an out-of-network ATM that accepts cash deposits, you will likely have to pay a fee and wait a few business days for the funds to become available.
Also check if any limits apply to cash deposits. In most cases, there is no cap on the dollar amount you can deposit through an ATM. However, there may be a maximum number of items you can deposit. Wells Fargo, for example, limits the number of bills and checks you can deposit to 30 per transaction.
Finally, be extra careful when handling cash at an ATM. “You can be vulnerable to theft if you spend too much time openly counting and recounting money,” says Gates Little, president and CEO of The Southern Bank Co. He recommends organizing and securing your money in an envelope in advance. It’s also a good idea to stick to ATMs that are well lit and ideally secured behind a door that requires access via your debit card.
How to Deposit Cash at an ATM
Once you are ready to deposit your money, follow these steps:
- Sign into your account. Typically, ATMs require a debit card and PIN to access your bank account. Some banks, such as Chase, allow you to log in using a mobile wallet.
- Choose your account. If you have more than one account with the bank, you will need to indicate which one the money is going to.
- Insert your invoices. When prompted, insert the cash into the ATM. Some ATMs allow you to insert a stack of bills directly into the machine, while others may require you to put the cash in a designated envelope first. If you need an envelope, check if you need to fill in information on the envelope.
- Check the deposit. Make sure the ATM has counted the correct amount to deposit.
- Obtain a receipt. Always keep track of the transaction, just in case there are any issues with the deposit. Some ATMs allow you to choose whether you want to receive a printed receipt or have it emailed or texted to you.
And if you are with an online bank only?
You may be wondering how to deposit money if you have an account in an online bank. “Online-only banks are a bit tricky because they usually don’t have physical branches with secure ATMs and ATMs,” says Little. There are a few exceptions, such as Capital One, which has ATMs and physical branches. It allows cash deposits at its Capital One-branded ATMs, but not at partner MoneyPass or Allpoint ATMs.
Little says a growing number of online banks are also partnering with existing financial institutions to provide ATM services. Varo Bank, for example, allows customers to deposit money into green points, which are commonly found at Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid and other retailers. Keep in mind that you may have to pay a fee for this service.
If your online bank does not allow cash deposits, there are several potential solutions. If you also have a checking account at a physical bank, you may be able to deposit money into that account and then transfer the funds to your online account. You can also consider converting your money to a money order and then depositing it into your online bank only via mobile check deposit. Again, this may involve fees, depending on your bank.