Equator Gringos

October 26, 2008

How Bank Machines Should Work

Filed under: Ecuador — lstollin @ 7:19 pm

As you probably know, Ecuador’s official currency is the US dollar, so bank machines here dispense the familiar green stuff.  But they dispense it in a way that opened my eyes to possibilities that are lacking back in the USA.

Here’s a quick test:  what is your best guess about how many different money trays a standard ATM has inside?  Well, when I first moved to Austin my UFCU bank machine would give out bills in increments of ten dollars, so I for one assumed until recently that there were two money trays behind all that thick metal and friendly interface: one for 10s, one for 20s — though these days my bank and all the others seem to fill both trays with twenties (which I heard referred to once as “yuppie food stamps”).

So, how many money trays?  Here’s the truth: what I thought and whatever you were thinking, we were lowballing it big time.  I got $200 in cash from my bank machine the other day, and as this picture attests, resized-IMG_2433 you can fit at least 4 different types of bills in there.  Dollar bills?  From a bank machine?  Are you kidding me?  No, I’m as serious as the sub-prime mortgage crisis: this is the kind of spread we get every time we get cash.  And I like it.  It’s the way it should be, I’m beginning to think.  Ever try to buy a soda from a machine with a twenty?  OK, well, there are no soda machines here.  But in the States, this would solve your problem.

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