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Super-ATMs Being Rolled Out 270

Posted by Zonk
from the more-than-just-money-machines dept.
News.com has an article up looking at something I find interesting and somewhat confusing. The Vcom ATM is an attempt to make people's lives more convenient by adding unexpected functionality to the standard Teller Machine. Besides dispensing cash, new ATMs can fulfull the roles of PayPal (by sending money to people), bank (by cashing checks on the spot), and cellphone store (by selling Verizon services). From the article: "The Circle K and Exxon Mobil machines are far more basic than 7-Eleven's Vcoms, which have been called overengineered. Several dozen customers polled informally outside a 7-Eleven in Winter Springs, Fla., recently said that they had never used the Vcom inside, and one woman who said she did use it once to withdraw cash complained that it was 'confusing' and 'complicated,' and added that she would not use it again. 'There were just too many steps,' said the woman, Peggy Baker, who teaches French in Winter Springs. 'And the $1.75 transaction fee was too much--it was painful.' She said she was not interested in the other Vcom features, which require users to enroll and enter a Social Security number on a touch screen."
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Super-ATMs Being Rolled Out

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  • by Zen Punk (785385) <cdavidbonner&gmail,com> on Sunday April 02, 2006 @07:41AM (#15045072) Journal
    If only they had it throw up a windows-like dialog box with "yes" or "no" they could get people to sign their live savings over to 7-11 very easily.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 02, 2006 @07:41AM (#15045074)
    Or is that too 'confusing' and 'complicated'?
  • by Lispy (136512) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @07:46AM (#15045087) Homepage
    You must be new here, nobody actually read TFA. Therefore they just dropped the links altogether.
  • by Scoria (264473) <slashmail@@@initialized...org> on Sunday April 02, 2006 @07:48AM (#15045093) Homepage
    enter a Social Security number on a touch screen.

    A masked thief enters a convenience store. The cashier tells him to take whatever he wants, but is surprised when he opens the ATM, removes a hard disk drive, and runs up to the cashier. He shouts, "I own you!"

    The cashier says, "No! I meant that you could take anything but me!"
  • by toomanyhandles (809578) * on Sunday April 02, 2006 @07:53AM (#15045108)
    Can they set them up to handle the voting booth tasks? It seems the same companies that make these reliable, traceable units, just can't figure out how to make a voting console properly. Merging the two could solve the USA's current problems with (apparantly) rigged elections.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @08:01AM (#15045122) Journal
    We took the fast out of fast food. In fact the "slow food" places like McD and Burger King are were you probably spend the most time waiting to get your meal.

    As for this whole ATM idea that becomes a small store. Well, surely paying your bills through it is only for the poor (else you would just let your bank do it for free) who can only pay with cash. 1.75-3 dollars seems like the extra banks charge here if you want to pay a bill cash as the counter instead of through the mail from your account.

    As for other services. Yeah great. Internet access through an ATM? Talk about a waste of hardware. You got a small bank vault, a complex teller machine sitting idle while somebody is browing goatse and 20 fuming customers behind him waiting to withdraw cash?

    Couple that with the fact that an awfull lot of people are already confused enough by regular cash dispensers and this sounds like a really bad idea.

    Then again what do I know. Maybe people said the same things about the original ATM's.

    But 3 dollars for paying a bill. Yikes.

  • by sjg (957424) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @08:20AM (#15045165) Homepage
    That will never happen, unfortunately. I recently asked a friend why we don't just hold elections online, surely that could be done. To my surprise his immediate response was well thought out and eloquent, I won't do it justice, but the jist is.. If citizens can very easily just vote on issues from home, then why is there a need for decision makers in government at all? So once you allow everyone to vote from home, you open yourself up to that. Once you remove all the decision makers, you end up with a government totally run by committee (in this case, the American people). Not only would this not be a good thing (as anyone who has heard a "designed by committee" software engineering crack can understand), but with the racket that US politics has become, the politicians and those financing them will never allow this to happen. It becomes too hard to stack the deck in your favor.
  • by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @08:46AM (#15045223)
    MacDonalds don't offer slow food.

    The fast food company with the golden arches is called McDonald's not MacDonalds. MacDonalds is probably some Irish pub in Boston that takes 30 minutes to serve up your corned beef sandwich. Either way you're wrong.

  • by eyegone (644831) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @09:01AM (#15045245)

    Everyone knows that MacDonald's is the home of the Big Mc.

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas

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