Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

An Overview of The Automated Teller Machine

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Information Technology
Wordcount: 3515 words Published: 12th Aug 2021

Reference this

By far, it is highly essential for public services to be accessible to users of every age group. However, by contrast, service users potentially differ with respect to physical ability, satisfaction and experiences in utilizing the services. The digital barrier is growing due to such individual differences. Apparently, the progress made in the field of information technology has been offering more jobs as well as learning opportunities especially for the disabled candidates, thereby raising their social evolution. Although bank machines have persisted as the primary suppliers of banking services in the market to ensure that the customer service stays as a top priority, the major challenge in designing an ATM system has been for clients to balance the technical requirements for reliability and flexibility with the commercial demand in order to offer a visually rich and a compelling user interface.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

An ATM (Automated Teller Machine) is by far a safely-critical and a real-time digital system highly complicated in design and deployment. The main objective of this research paper is to improve an existing automate teller machine human-machine interface for accommodating the needs of elderly users. The scope of the research study focuses on the accessibility of an ATM by young, elderly as well as disabled bank customers. This paper aims at providing an enhanced and a detailed design study of good interface for an automated teller machine. It focuses on features that allow bank customers to securely access their bank accounts as well as avoid potential hackers. The study also considers the introduction of simpler menu systems to be embedded into ATMs for allowing quick and easy learning for customers.

Briefly, this research paper addresses the problems of slow processing of service, several screen and display related problems, re-insertion of cards for multiple transactions, and to make the system interface much more user friendly.


Lately, foundation to the several public services is the fact that service users themselves are capable of operating the information equipment essential for utilizing the services. The information equipment must be accessible to any individual to render quality public services to every user equally. Hence, automated machines are required to incorporate universal design so as to enable every user to operate the equipment. Furthermore, with the progress in information technology has effectively aided the social evolution of individuals with disabilities, the overall scope of the universal interface and design has spread into a variety of different fields ranging from commercial services and individual products to communications, broadcasting networks, infrastructure, education, administrative and medical services, and urban design (Fong et al 2010) (Asawa et al 2005).

Several information technology interfaces have been poorly designed. Customers or users of these interfaces find it difficult to use interfaces effectively because of poor design. An effective interface design is essential in order to reduce costs, errors, employee turnover, and extra training, along with enhancing user satisfaction, overall productivity, as well as quality products and services (Asawa et al 2005). Most importantly, a good interface design is equipped with diverse knowledge of system design processes together with user characteristics such as

Physical characteristics, limitations and disabilities of users.

  • Speed and efficiency demands
  • Security issues
  • Reliability concerns
  • Degree of functionality and usability required
  • Users’ tolerance for error
  • Frequency of ATM use
  • Past experience of users
  • Users’ motivation for learning
  • Cultural and language factors (Fong et al 2010) (Breen 2010)

Using an automated teller machine is among the most common tasks that involve community-living skills an individual might adopt. An ATM is a computerized telecommunication device that offers the customers of financial companies access to performing financial transactions publicly in the absence of a human clerk or a bank teller. With ATMs, customers are able to access their bank accounts for making cask withdrawals, transferring money, and checking their account balance, as well as paying electronic bills (Asawa et al 2005) (Stone & Stone 2005). Even though ATMs are widespread and very convenient, however, study shows that older individuals and customers with disabilities face problems with their functioning. These difficulties may stem out not just from physical characteristics and sensory problems, but also from cognitive changes due to aging, all in all making it difficult for older users to understand ATM operations and ATM display (Fong et al 2010). Furthermore, common bottlenecks faced by many users of ATMs are:

  • Text displayed on screen and the corresponding arrows at each side don’t align with each other
  • Long response time
  • Slow processing of service
  • Tedious process for conducting multiple transactions (re-insert cards).
  • Screen display colour difficult to see in sunlight (Asawa et al 2005).

The project aims at re-designing the ATM system in order to resolve the current issues and to enhance the existing design interface so that it is accessible by elderly, young as well as disabled bank customers. This study also strives to make the interfaces quickly accessible and effective and to allow for instant and effective interaction. Effective changes will be made in order to design and construct simpler menu systems which are designed to enable quick and easy learning. Additionally, text sizes can be made medium for making the interface more readable and the overall system interface user friendly (Fong et al 2010) (Stone & Stone 2005).

Identification of typical users who will be operating the Automated Teller Machine (ATM):

Typical users of ATM are:

  • Customers of that bank as well as other banks
  • General public or bank customers

Users who will operate the ATM application will have ages ranging from 16 years to around 85 years. Nonetheless, the major objective of a good ATM interface design is that it must:

  • Be user friendly
  • Reduce costs
  • Reduce errors
  • Enhance user satisfaction
  • Increase productivity
  • Provide quality of service

In short, the research study provides a detailed illustration of user needs are analyzed and determined, and how a prototype system can be developed based on the initial design and users’ feedback (Asawa et al 2005).

User experience is enhanced by enabling users to benefit from consistency in layout as well as in operation. These benefits include faster learning of ATM operations, greater productivity, lesser errors, user account security, and lastly, greater satisfaction (Breen 2010).

Scope of the Project

The scope of the system includes major changes concerning the overall layout of the ATM system. This layout will include:

  • Interface layout
  • The positions of the overall layouts and navigation will be changed
  • The screen text will be aligned with the corresponding button on the side for making it less confusing for users.
  • Appropriate colour will be used for making the screen more visible even in sunlight

Consistency in layout and operation is maintained by improving the keypad layout, sequence of steps for a deposit, sequence of steps for a withdrawal, display sequence, procedure for PIN entry, etc. Additionally, bank customers may enjoy the facility of registering a “favourite transaction” for most frequently used steps, such as automated telephone banking or voice recording (IVR), internet banking, or a human agent (Bell 2000).

Input Controls

Every control or operating mechanism will be differentiated either by touch or sound from other connected controls and operating mechanisms, as well as from the fascia of the ATM interface.

Every control and operating feature will be operable by one hand.

Speech Input

With advancements in technology, speech input features can be installed in the ATM system. For users with visual disabilities, or have limited reach, a facility for the ATM to receive and analyze spoken instructions is highly essential (Bell 2000) (Benyon).

In such cases, the numeric keypads can still be used where speech input is enabled. An appropriate signage can be used to identify such an ATM system.

User Verification and Authentication

The profile settings for customers can be implemented so as to enable the user to use preferred settings like screen colour, font size and style, graphics and text layout, audio settings as well as several other parameters related to a user account or user identification number (Bell 2000).

Transaction Time

The ATM system studied in this paper can be developed in a way to extend the time required to perform a specific step by prompting a question such as “Do you need more time for transaction?”. By prompting such an automated question, the user is will be released of any rush and pressure of performing their transactions in a limited amount of time.

Card Insertion and Swiping

A good ATM system will have the initial activation or interface point at the right side of the screen, for easy readability. A graphic symbol will be used for distinguishing card readers from other parts of the display interface. This signage can be easily seen and understood, indicates the card orientation for insertion into the card reader (Bell 2000).

ATM Display

Text indicating the transaction must contrast with the background in order to allow for easier readability and must be at a minimum of 35% brightness contrast. For better legibility, text characters must have a sans serif font and must be a combination of lower and upper case letters. In short, light text and dark background is preferred, without moving text. The audio prompt can be used exactly in synch with the display information (Benyon).

Keypad Layout

Keypad characters must be visually contrasting with the background, if they are not tactile. Apart from the traditional approach of function display keys or touch-screen for selecting menu choices and answering questions, numeric keypad can also be enabled for such tasks. With touch screen ATMs that usually have only a keypad, such an approach is the only feasible way of interacting with the ATM especially for customers with visual disability, or who are unable to access the function display key or the touch screen buttons. Moreover, each key pressed will be acknowledged visually, audibly, as well as by tactile registration (Bell 2000).

Function Keys/ Display Keys

To obtain better operability, navigation and accessibility of the ATM system, another important factor to be considered is the function and display keys. The function keys must be located to the right side of the numeric buttons. Keys for correction, cancellation and enter must be arranged vertically from top to bottom, in the order Cancel, Clear, and Enter, having raised tactile markings. Additionally, these function keys must be bright in colours to distinguish them from other keys. Furthermore, function display keys must align with the screen instructions (Bell 2000).

Privacy and Security

Data which is confidential and private to the bank customer must be inaccessible or invisible to any other user. For instance, a bystander or a passerby must not be able to read the key operations that are used for entering a PIN. The design and deployment features of the ATM must be capable of providing maximum privacy to the cardholder, so that during normal usage he/she does not need to take any protective action (Benyon). Furthermore, sensitive information used for constructing a usable card will not be displayed across the screen or even printed in the transaction report. By doing so, such information will be prevented from being accessed by any other user in case the cardholder leaves the ATM when a transaction is displayed, or discard a printed transaction receipt. Another precaution to be taken is to reduce the possibility of the ATM card being left behind by a user at the ATM and being misused by another user, with the help of both audio as well as video alerts and warnings (Bell 2000) (Breen 2010).

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

Problem Statement

Numerous information technology interfaces have been poorly designed and weakly interfaced with the underlying functionalities. And due to such poor design, customers or users of these interfaces find it difficult to use interfaces effectively. An effective interface design is essential in order to reduce costs, errors, employee turnover, and extra training, along with enhancing user satisfaction, overall productivity, as well as quality products and services (Asawa et al 2005).

This research paper aims at addressing common problem faced by many users of ATMs. These problems are mostly related to the interface design of the automated teller machines. The issues to be addressed are:

  • Text displayed on screen and the corresponding arrows at each side don’t align with each other
  • Long response time
  • Slow processing of service
  • Tedious process for conducting multiple transactions (re-insert cards).
  • Screen display colour difficult to see in sunlight.

Sources of Information

This research study uses valuable information extracted from a number of web documents, journals articles, and books. A combination of these resources has been used for finding practical solutions for the research problem in question.

The description of information taken from respective sources is given below:

Fong, K, Chow, K, Chan, B & Wong, A (2010), ‘Usability of a virtual reality environment simulating an automated teller machine for assessing and training persons with acquired brain injury’, Journal of NueroEngineering and Rehabilitation, vol. 7, no. 19, pp. 1-9.

Written by Fong et al, this journal article outlines the usability issues of a virtual reality environment simulation of an ATM in order to assess and train bank customers with brain injuries. The journal article examines the usability of virtual reality (VR) environment simulation of the operations if an ATM for training and assessment.

Stone, D & Stone, D 2005, User Interface Design and Evaluation, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, CA.

Written by Stone, this online book outlines the design and evaluation of a user interface. This book illustrates the importance of a user interface in technological terms and states its significance while using a computer and enabling the user to interact effectively with the machine, giving reference to the automated teller machine.

Bell, D 2000, Industry Standard: Automated Teller Machine, Australian Bankers’ Association, viewed 28 June, 2010.

A web document, written by David Bell, is used for reference that indicates the industry standard of an automated teller machine. In other words, the document deals with Automated Teller Machine technologies and offers a collection of standards for the design, deployment and operation of those technologies.

Breen, M 2010, A Note on Formal User Modelling in User Interface Design, viewed 27 June, 2010, .

A web document is used for extracting information that represents a project conducted at the University of London, known as “Human Error Modelling”. The paper refers to the kind of mistake a cardholder is likely to make while obtaining cash from an ATM. At instances, a user walks away after receiving the money, forgetting their ATM card in the bank machine. In order to avoid users making this error, ATMs will be designed to dispense the cash only after the removal of the card from the machine. Enforcing such a policy guarantees that the user will not forget their card and their cash (Breen 2010).

Asawa, T,Ohto, A & Ando, T 2005, ‘Promoting Universal Design of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)’, Fujtsu Sci. Tech. J., vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 86-96.

Information from a journal article written by Asawa et al is used for explaining the background of ATMs. This journal article aims at promoting universal design of ATMs. By adopting a case study of Japan, the journal article specifically demonstrates how a barrier-free ATM system has evolved into universal design. The paper also represents the improvement of ATM systems of Fujistu with a focus mainly on universal design. This paper was referred to in terms of product development, implementation methods, as well as universal designs for automated teller machines.

Benyon, D, Domain models for User Interface Design, Open University, pp. 1-16, viewed 28 June, 2010.

A PDF document titled “Domain Models for User Interface Design” is used which focuses on the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and how it holds its significance in an automated teller machine. It explains the various interactive systems and how an ATM interfaces exist inside the ATM system (Nitta et al 1998).

Whelan, S, Automated Teller Machines, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor IT Innovation Series, viewed 29 June, 2010.

Lastly, another PDF document, written by Steve Whelan, is used which describes what ATMs actually are and how they work. It also indicates the various requirements for setting up and ATM system and who must consider an ATM. The cost effectiveness and benefits of an ATM is also covered in the PDF.

Key Specific Usability Goals

The improved design solution will permit as much as 96% of bank customers or cardholders to access desired information and have a secure transaction within a time span of 5 to 8 seconds after inputting the request.

Users with training will use the ATM system with an error rate of less than 4 %

New users or cardholders will get trained without much effort, with the help of easy navigation features and easier ‘help’ options.

With such a powerful design solution, approximately 95% of the users will have a satisfactory experience because of the system’s security and privacy features, user friendliness and easy navigation, secure transactions, and prompt responses to their transaction requests (faster speed of transaction and response time.)

Due to guidance messages such as “Do you need more time?”, “Are you sure you want to exit?,” etc. users will be able to use the system at their convenience.

Implementation Environment

The ATM application referred to in the research study can be developed by using commercial operating system such as Windows OS (Windows 98 and above) and in programming environments like Java. The Java programming language is used due to its security features, and most importantly, since Java is not an open source language, any third party will not be able to alter or modify the source code or the system features for their own usage. Furthermore, the object oriented design feature of Java can be used for the middle software layer, where the effectiveness of object oriented design is kept maximum (Nitta et al 1998) (Benyon).

Essentially, the analysis and design process for this system can be done on the basis of the integration of top-down and bottom-up operations, in order to rearrange the current ATM specifications.

An object diagram will be used for arranging the relationships between the objects such as relation between transaction requests, data exchange, etc.

A transition diagram will arrange the behaviour of objects according to the event to be processed by every object.

Fence chart or timing chart will be used to indicate the role of every object and the interface among those objects through a processing flow.

Classes are written to define an attribute that is to be applied and managed as a class, together with the relationship with other objects and various operations considered as a transaction processing request.

Lastly, operations will be defined to indicate the processing matter as well as the input and output parameters of operation functions from the traditional ATM specifications (Nitta et al 1998).


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: