In ATM News

I have a few expensive gadgets (an old digital camera, an iPod) hidden somewhere in a drawer because I haven’t found the time to attempt to sell them on eBay or Craigslist, but if there were a machine I could just walk up to and deposit these items in exchange for cash, I’d totally do that. According to The Economist, there is such a machine. It’s called ecoATM, and it’s based in San Diego:

It has devised and deployed in several American cities a series of ATM-like devices that will automatically analyse your mobile phone, MP3 player or phone charger, and then make you an offer for it. These machines will give you cash in hand or, if you prefer, send the money as a donation to the charity of your choice. The hope is that this hassle-free approach will appeal to people who can’t be bothered to recycle their old phone when buying a new one.

(Thanks to Jon Custer for this news.)

In other ATM news, Chase and PNC ATMs may start dispensing $5 and $1 bills. Because sometimes you want to take out exactly $17 and not a dollar more (especially if all you have is $17 in your bank account).

(Thanks to Nicole Cliffe for this news.)

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11 Comments / Post A Comment

mannequinhands (#1,278)

There was an ATM by my college back in the late 90s that dispensed $1 bills, but it’s gone now. Best thing ever for a poor student.

About half of my bank’s ATMs in my city (Huntington Bank, Columbus) offer withdrawals in multiples of $10, which is SO good because sometimes you want $50, not $60.

Lily Rowan (#70)

@mannequinhands I was going to say, is anyone else old enough to remember ATMs with $5s in them? Because I definitely am. (Older than you — the ones v. fives must have been a regional/bank choice.)

Megano! (#124)

@mannequinhands Here in Canada you can only take out $20s or $50s from the ATM. It is dumb.

mannequinhands (#1,278)

@Megano! Yeah! ‘Cause sometimes you want $30.

vicky austin (#2,938)

My PNC ATM in DC has been giving out $1s for at least a year and a half. It is the best ATM ever – if I know I’ll be splitting a dinner bill, I will hit that ATM and get $39 so that I have exact change for my share.

Mal*Pal (#1,597)

Mike Dang how much do you want to sell your ipod for? I can’t afford a new one so I’d like to get a used one but I don’t really trust one from a random person. Since we don’t *know* eachother, I guess you’re still a random person, but you run a fantastic blog and seem like a great guy so let me know if/when it’s for sale. :-)

selenana (#673)

My ATM (and most ATMs in Japan) dispense change down to 1 yen coins. On the other hand, banks charge you for using their own ATMs outside of business hours. And you can’t take out money from other banks’ ATMs. Argh.

t-square (#1,401)

There is an EcoATM here in Atlanta, downtown. People steal electronics and then sell them at the EcoATM. Granted it’s not in a nice neighborhood, but I don’t know anyone who has actually used it and there are reports all the time of stolen items being deposited. They may actually have removed it now, for that reason.

Megano! (#124)

@t-square Ooof. I thought it was a great idea but yeah, that would be a huge problem. Unless you could somehow program it not to accept anything with no serial number/somehow connect it to a police database or something for stolen stuff? I DUNNO THIS PROBABLY WOULDN’T WORK.

t-square (#1,401)

I think that they do it immediately – like, steal an iphone, go to the EcoATM, immediately have the cash. Supposedly there’s some system where you have to scan your ID or something so they know who’s selling, and then when that phone is reported stolen, they’ll know?

vathe (#5,387)

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