Fort Knox in Box: How ATMs Work

Fort Knox in Box: How ATMs Work


Narrator: ATMs — THEY DELIVER THE MONEY
THAT MAKES THE WORLD GO AROUND. BUT HOW DOES AN ATM
MAKE SURE IT HANDS OUT THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF CASH
TO THE RIGHT PEOPLE? 400 PARTS WORK TOGETHER — A SMART CARD READER
THAT CHECKS YOUR BALANCE… TWO SECURE VAULTS… THAT CAN HOLD 3,000 BILLS… HIGH-FRICTION ROLLERS THAT PICK JUST ONE BILL
AT A TIME… AND SENSORS THAT SPOT WHEN
A SECOND BILL SLIPS THROUGH. SUPER-STRONG WELDS FUSE TOGETHER
A 480-POUND STEEL CASE TO KEEP THE CASH SAFE
AND READY TO FLOW. AT THE HEART OF THE ATM
IS THE CONTROL PANEL THAT MATCHES YOUR PIN
TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT. THE ATM’s CARD READER
AND MOTHERBOARD ACT AS GATEKEEPERS
BETWEEN THE PUBLIC AND THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS. ONCE THEY VERIFY A PIN,
THE MACHINE MUST DELIVER THE RIGHT NUMBER OF BILLS
AT BREAKNECK SPEED WITHOUT A RIP OR A JAM. THIS IS HOW IT DOES IT. DEEP IN THE HEART
OF THE MACHINE, TWO STEEL CASSETTES
HOLD OVER 1,000 BILLS EACH. A SERRATED RUBBER ROLLER KICKS UP ONE BILL
FROM THE STACK… TO A PAIR OF SMOOTH ROLLERS THAT FEED IT ONTO
A CONVEYOR BELT. A SENSOR CHECKS THAT BILLS
NEVER DOUBLE UP… SO THIS ROBOTIC TELLER… CAN SPIT OUT UP TO FIVE BILLS
EVERY SECOND. AN ATM CAN CONTAIN UP
TO $300,000 IN CASH. HOW DOES IT KEEP THE CASH
IN THE SAFE BUT MAKE IT EASY TO REFILL
WHEN THE MONEY RUNS OUT? UNDER THE SKIN OF THE ATM
IS A 480-POUND BOX. ITS WALLS —
HALF AN INCH OF SOLID STEEL. THE DOOR HAS A SUPER WIDE BOLT
THAT RUNS ALONG ITS EDGE. THE ONLY WAY IN — A KEYPAD WITH
A MILLION COMBINATIONS. IT ROTATES TO RELEASE
A DEADLOCK… SO THE HANDLE CAN SWING
AN ALUMINUM PENDULUM TO PULL BACK THE BOLT. IT’S LIKE FORT KNOX IN A BOX.

63 thoughts on “Fort Knox in Box: How ATMs Work

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *