Sorry NCR, we broke your brand new ATM.

atm cassette When I wrote about printers jamming though being incorrectly loaded, I was reminded of the time we broke a brand new NCR ATM.

I was working in the ATM helpdesk team at the time.  NCR extended an invite for us to visit their sales office to familiarise ourselves with the new ATMs they were selling us.  We worked though the typical faults that you’d see with a branch ATM, such as Receipt Paper Out, Cash Out, Cash Jam, Deposit Bin Full & Card Jam.

Now you need to know that ATM’s have two parts to their cash delivery mechanism; the cash pickup (from a cash cassette) and the cash dispensing part (to the customer).

The cash dispenser side was clever,  It did things like weigh and measure the notes, to ensure that the customer wasn’t getting too much money.#
The cash pickup side was not.  If you failed to side the “note holder” stop firmly against the notes, it would cause a jam. 

You might guess what happened next. 

“What happens if we don’t tension the note holder?”, said the team lead.

What happens is that the ATM cash pickup tries to feed 20 notes into a 1 note gap.

It took 3 hours for the NCR Technician to fix.

# banks much prefer when customers don’t get overpaid.