Money Matters

Feeling sheepish

Things you should never do: a) leave a card in the ATM machine and b) forget to take the money withdrawn from the ATM machine.

Except I’ve done both. Years ago, I left my card behind after checking an account balance. When I pulled out the wallet to pay for lunch, I realised that I had neither cash nor card with me. Luckily, I was with a friend who could pay for me at the time.

I now always grab my card as soon as it comes out of the slot and the machine starts beeping. Last Sunday, I was too keen: I grabbed my card and walked away, without taking my money with me.

I’m not the first and I won’t be the last person to leave a card or money in an ATM machine and the bank has contingency plans for such. As long as no one steals your card and or cash in the few moments after your absentminded departure, the machine will suck the card and or cash into its mechanical innards, allowing you the chance to savour the lengthy process of dealing with call waiting music and explaining to customer service just exactly how stupid you are.

However, I did get something out of my failure. It is easier for the bank to verify a claim and credit the money lost if the incident happened at one of their ATMs. My ‘shortpay refund’ took seconds instead of days to appear in my bank account. Hence, the moral of the story is always withdraw money from your bank’s ATM network. Not only will it save you in fees, it may also save you in other ways.

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