Recently, residents of Shanghai complained that ATMs at some Shanghai banks have limited deposit and withdrawal functions. As a result, they have no cash to withdraw and don’t accept deposits. Some of the bank’s related department managers said that ATM functionality had been removed due to epidemic prevention requirements, but customers doubted this claim.

Sina Finance, on July 28, reported that recently, some Shanghai bank ATMs have restricted access and only have a single function. As a result, people cannot help but complain. “There are only two machines in total that can withdraw money, and they cannot be used normally!”

Accordingly, on the morning of July 17, Ms. Tian from the Baoshan district went to the Baoshan branch of the Agricultural Bank of China at 78 Longzhen Street to withdraw money. However, both ATM door handles had a sign, “Under maintenance, please wait.”

After 10 minutes of fruitless waiting, Ms. Tian went to the transaction office to get a number and wait for the service staff. “This could be done quickly through an ATM, but now we have to queue in such scorching weather.”

Many Shanghai residents and Ms. Tian are in a depressing situation. As explained by Sina Finance, to prevent the virus from spreading through cash, some banks in the city have turned off the functions of ATMs. Because unstable ATMs suddenly led to frequent occurrences of people unable to deposit or withdraw money, they must ultimately rely on transaction staff.

Responding to Ms. Tian’s question, the branch manager said both ATMs were “withdrawn” during the day.

Hexun quoting an investigation by Shangguan News that said a survey at 20 transaction points, including industrial and commercial banks, agricultural banks, China banks, construction banks, CITIC banks, media banks, Shanghai banks, and 14 others, found that only five branches out of 20 with ATMs were fully operational. Seven branches have ATMs with limited functionality, and more than half of the other bank branch ATMs are paralyzed.

Ms. Zhu, a Shanghai resident, said, “The day before, I went to withdraw money at a bank ATM branch in Shanghai Pudong, I had to queue for more than 20 minutes in the temperature of 36°C. When it was my turn, the machine’s interface did not show the withdrawal option. After trying many times, I asked a banker why the ATM had only a deposit but no withdrawal function. I had to queue at the nearby ATM and it took almost an hour to withdraw money.”

A lot of people complained about the limited functionality of ATMs. A resident who was queuing in front of the Commercial Bank of China said, “I have queued twice to withdraw money, I temporarily need to use cash and just want to get $30, but ended up queuing in front of the ATM for half an hour.”

Another resident who was queuing to deposit money was also frustrated, “I couldn’t deposit money last time, so I came back today, this is the closest branch to my house, but it doesn’t solve any problems.”

The ATMs in Shanghai are not only limited in function, but the operating time is also shortened, and many bank ATMs have been paralyzed.

Why do ATM machines often fail? Some banks in Shanghai said that the flow of deposits and withdrawals was mainly for epidemic prevention and control requirements.

Bank officials also said that the flow of deposits and withdrawals is mainly to avoid the virus spreading through cash and avoid unsterilized cash entering the market.

Some residents also had different opinions about the bank’s statement. They said that if there are viruses on cash, the use of ATMs will also cause infection, so it is necessary to arrange for personnel to take special responsibility for disinfection. There are also suggestions that ATMs need to be able to integrate disinfection functions and immediately process automatically after each use. Then, money can be reused, and doing so can improve ATM machine operation efficiency.

Meanwhile, some employees of the Industrial and Commercial Bank and Agriculture Bank said that one of the reasons why ATMs often fail is that all of the cash has been withdrawn, and they have not been recharged. There are also some ATMs under maintenance.

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