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Automated banking machines, or Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), offer convenient access to bank accounts. In Québec, an ATM is usually referred to as a “guichet.” It is a “self-service bank” available 24 hours a day at the financial institution, but they are often available in other locations such as gas stations, grocery stores or malls.


ustomers can use their bank cards to withdraw cash, usually to a set daily limit, pay bills, deposit cheques or transfer funds. Fees are charged to use ATMs not associated with a customer’s home bank. Independent ATMs may charge higher fees.

Most stores have point-of-sale (POS) terminals that can perform transactions with a bank card. They allow a merchant to insert, swipe, tap or manually key in required bank card information, transmit it to the merchant service provider for authorization and, later on, transfer funds to the merchant.

To use a bank and some credit cards, a customer must create a Personal Identification Number (PIN). This enables access to an account. Bank cards are non-transferable and should not be lent to anyone. A PIN should be kept secret even from bank employees, who will never ask for it. When entering a PIN into a machine, especially in a store or crowded place, make an effort to prevent anyone else from seeing it.