18 September, 2020

The Full Demonty: Anatomy Of An ATM In Distress

Arindam Mukherjee dissects the most important machine in India right now...apart from the ones printing new currency, of course

The Full Demonty: Anatomy Of An ATM In Distress

The Process Each ATM is connected to a host computer, which is fitted inside the machine itself. This computer is connected to the central bank server also known as the ATM Switch, which resides at the bank level. The central server is the main brain behind the ATM and gives it instructions to perform various functions, ­including dispensation of cash. All the screen instructions in an ATM are sent from the central server.

When a customer puts in a card, the card reader reads it and asks for the PIN. Once the PIN is keyed in by the customer, it goes to the central server, which authenticates it and asks the customer what he/she wants.

Once the withdrawal option is ­selected, the machine asks for the amount to be withdrawn. After the amount is ent­ered, the server picks it up and sends it to the bank host, which could either be the same bank to which the ATM belongs or an even an outside bank, where the customer’s account details are held. The central server then checks the balance, debits the ­account for that amount and then...



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