Automatic Teller Machines - Collaborative Research and Presentation

Stage 1:

You will work another student in your class on ONE of the following. WAB students - please check our Moodle course to find your partner and the group you have been allocated.

General Resources

In addition to the resources suggested below, please also use the general resources outlined at the end of page.

Group 1: 3.1 Hardware

Students must find out about and make good notes about the hardware that is used by ATM systems. This may include:
  • touch screens
  • keyboards
  • input/output systems
  • mainframes
  • ATM cards - magnetic stripe vs embedded chips

Getting started:
Recent articles:

Group 2: 3.3 Networks

Students must research and answer the following questions:

  1. How do banks and ATMs communicate?
  2. What is a network?
  3. Leased lines vs Internet?
  4. Future trends?
  5. Anything else you feel may be appropriate to share.

Getting started:

Group 3: ATMs and (3.7) Databases

Students to review the Teach-ICT database site ( to find out about databases to explain the following terms: database, record, field, data types, primary keys.

Students to research the following:
1. What types of transactions can a customer perform at an ATM?
2. Describe the type of data that is involved/required to make each ATM transaction.
  • What information would be transferred between the ATM and the bank?
  • A bank would hold records for each customer. What 'fields' might a bank have that would access when processing an ATM transaction.
  • Students should create a simple table with example data to show the essential information that the bank would need to process a customer ATM transaction.

3. What checks might the bank's computer need to make to allow the transaction to happen? Students to give examples using the table created? What calculations might a bank's computer need to do to perform the transactions? Students to give examples using the table created.

Some links:

Group 4: ATMs and (1.2) Security

Students are to present to the class the major security issues and possible solutions surrounding ATMs.

Research should include statistics worldwide
key terms such as skimming, fraud, card-cloning, card trapping
Types of ATM cards - which is more secure and why?
Physical security of ATMs

Some links:
Recent articles:

Group 5: 1.6 The digital divide and equality of access/1.8 Globalization and CD - languages, global connection

Students should look at the distribution of ATMs across the world. Why do some countries/regions have more than others?
What are the barriers to having/not having access to an ATM?
What modifications/assistance do ATMs have for: hearing impaired, visually impaired?
What assistance to ATMs provide for people who do not know how to use an ATM (such as older generation)? What about tourists who want to take money out in a country that has a different host language? For example, for non-Chinese speakers in China?
What impact have ATM's had in different countries?

Further reading:

Group 6: 1.11 People and Machines

What are the benefits of ATMs to customers? To banks?
What are the disadvantages of ATMs to customers? To banks?
As a result of the introduction of ATMs, what have been some of the negative consequences for bank employees or bank opening hours?

Further reading:

computer network atm - Google News
automatic teller machine - Google News