Did you hear the one about the Irish ATM?

I had a fantastic trip to Ireland for the new year. During my trip I used an ATM machine to get some cash out. I was surprised by the default cash options. I’ve been racking my brains and can’t seem to come up with any sensible rationale for these amounts. Do you have any idea what the business objectives might be here? (See below pic)

Answers in the comments please!


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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Musings


  • PaulGeraghty says:

    So they only have to load it with denominations of 20s and 50s?

    • Justin says:

      Even with only 20s and 50s you could still do something sensible like: 20, 40, 100, 150, 200, 300…

      • Alan says:

        A lot of Banks charge for a withdrawal on accounts.
        So they want to keep the withdrawal amounts as low as possible, (so you keep coming back).

        Alongside this they want to refill the machine as little as possible. (Hence using only 20’s and 50’s),

        They probably also need to take into account daily withdrawal limits.

        Finally maybe they survey’d what customers and shops want. (i.e.) Shops/Taxi’s hate breaking 50’s all day.

  • ashok says:

    may be they are intelligent enough to track the denominations most of the other people select using that ATM and giving you that option ??

  • Richard says:

    Maybe these are the euro amounts that correspond to what people were used to withdrawing before. Or maybe there’s a cultural barrier to spending more then e90 at the pub in one night :)

  • Tracy Hall says:

    Use balancing: the amounts represent 1 bill (20), 2 bills (40), 3 bills (90), 3 bills (120), 3 bills (150), 4 bills (170), 5 bills (220), as well as minimal alternates (120: 2×50+1×20, or 6×20; 90: only 2×20+1×50).

    This helps keep a balance between use of 20’s and 50’s – easier maintenance.

    But mostly, someone WAY over-thinking it.

  • Comments closed