I blame myself and others like me. My fondness for using the ATM helped this situation develop. And now it’s too late to go back.
I recently deposited several hundred dollars worth of cheques via the ATM. Several days later I went online to transfer some of that money to a bill. The balance showed up accurately but the program refused to allow the transfer citing “insufficent funds”. No matter which amount of money I chose, it continued to block the transaction.
Today I stopped into my bank to confirm the reason – the bank doesn’t handle deposits at the ATM. If you had the impression that a pert teller click-clicked her high heels toward the back of the machine several times a day and removed the contents, after which she tallied and processed that loot, you would be mistaken. This service is contracted out to a firm that puts an immediate five-business-day hold on every cheque regardless of who wrote it and to whom it was written. However, if you walk into the bank, old school style, the speed of the deposit is totally within the teller’s discretion.
This I did not know.
Fortunately, I’m not in a crisis or anything. It’s more of an irritant than a problem. But I think it should be made widely known that the bank doesn’t even handle the currency you give it if you do it yourself through their hungry little machines. And that awareness is what I hope I’m helping to spread right now.