ATM Maintenance Tips

February 20, 2013

In many ways ATMs are like office photocopiers: They’re complex electromechanical devices with hundreds of moving parts that transport lots of paper through their mechanisms, shedding lint and dust along the way. And, like photocopiers, they need regular maintenance to prevent paper jams, ensure smooth operation and keep small problems from becoming big ones. Following is a list of ATM custodial and preventative maintenance tips that ATM owners and operators should perform regularly to ensure their ATM services are always available. It’s best to schedule these activities, so they’re not forgotten.


1. Card reader:  Use a wet cleaning swab to clean the card reader of any built-up film composed of minute magnetic stripe particles, ambient dust and trace amounts of sebaceous skin oil from users’ hands when handling their ATM cards.

2. Screen:  Use a soft, damp cloth to clean your ATM’s screen regularly, even daily if it’s a touchscreen. In the case of a touchscreen, use an antiseptic wipe to kill germs.

3. Keypad:  Also use a soft, damp cloth to clean the keypad of dirt and hand oils, then follow that with an antiseptic wipe to kill germs.

4. Enclosure:  After cleaning the screen and keypad, wipe down the entire enclosure to clean it of any dirt and smudges. Also, to ensure ATM security, check for any attached skimming devices and wireless webcams rigged to steal passwords.

5. Video surveillance:  Make sure the camera is operating with a clear view of the ATM site to further ensure ATM security. Clean the lens with lens paper if necessary.

6. Lighting:  Check lighting and replace bulbs if necessary. If track lighting is used, make sure the lighting canisters are pointed properly to illuminate the ATM and surroundings.

7. Supplies:  If applicable, make sure deposit slips and envelopes are stocked—but not stocked so tightly that pulling one out means several come out. The unneeded ones will litter the immediate area, creating a negative impression on subsequent ATM users.

8. Cash dispenser:  The cash dispenser issues hundreds of currency bills or more each day in a relatively short time. Use a can of compressed air to blow out lint and dust that can easily accumulates in the dispenser. Lubricate rollers, if applicable and recommended by the ATM manufacturer.

9. Receipt dispenser: Use a can of compressed air to blow out all lint and dust. Lubricate rollers as needed.

10. Safe:  Lubricate the door hinges and cassette lids with a light oil as needed.  Replace the battery on your safe once a year, or as prescribed by the manufacturer.

11. Operating system:  Print your journal regularly to keep your ATM’s memory available (and keep your printouts for at least a year in case you need them). Re-boot your ATM’s operating system to refresh it.

Garda Cash Logistics provides ATM replenishment of cash and supplies. The latter includes deposit slips, envelopes, receipts, audit tapes, and electronic journal service. While doing so, our cash messengers will also clear any currency or paper jams they notice. Not only can we monitor your ATM currency levels, but we also can suggest improvements to provide more comprehensive cash management of your ATM funds. To learn more, visit our website.