All Financial Education

All About ATMs

August 5, 2019

Woman taking money out of an ATM.

Did you know that ATM stands for “Automated Teller Machine”? Back in 1967, the first ATM came on the scene in north London, before ATM cards were even invented. Instead, people used paper vouchers printed with radioactive ink that the machine could read, entered in an identification code, and took a max of £10 out at a time.

We’ve come a long way since then!

Since that first ATM in 1967, the number has grown to around 3 million ATMs throughout the world. This means there is approximately 1 ATM per 3000 people.

ATMs come with a lot of convenience. They can be used 24/7, are often more accessible than a physical institution, and can be quicker since they don’t require any personal interaction. This convenience, however, does come at a cost. To allow ATMs to continue to operate correctly, they require regular maintenance, compliance inspections, cash reloads, and are still subject to any typical transaction fees.

This means that every time you swipe your card at an ATM, the institution that owns and operates that ATM is incurring costs for that use, and this cost may be compensated for by charging a small convenience fee. For example, if you use your Idaho Central card at an out-of-network ATM, you would receive $1.50 processing fee from us, as well as a potential fee from that institution.

In 1981, however, 20 credit unions in California got together and united their 32 ATMs, creating what we now know as the CO-OP ATM Network. Now the largest credit union-owned interbank network in the US, there are 30,000 ATMs available on this network.

So what does this mean for you, an Idaho Central Credit Union member?

Many institutions will only waive these convenience fees for their members at their own ATMs, which helps them drive their members to use their own ATMs, rather than going to another institution. Idaho Central Credit Union is part of that CO-OP ATM Network, however. This means that though ATM usage comes at a cost, you are still not limited to only using ICCU ATMs, since that cost is waived to you at any of these 30,000 ATMs on the CO-OP ATM Network.

Though Idaho-based, we love to continue to serve our members anywhere they are. This means providing as many options as possible when you are not able to come into a branch. Making deposits, withdrawals, and having access to your accounts wherever you are is important to you, and is important to us!

You can find a CO-OP ATM near you at this link: