Not all automated teller machines are equipped to accept deposits, so you cannot make deposits at any ATM. Furthermore, most account holders are only able to deposit money at ATMs owned and operated by the bank that holds their accounts. People who do make deposits at ATMs often face delays before funds are available for use.
ATMs vary from bank to bank. Generally, ATM deposits are made by customers placing cash or checks into an envelope and sliding the envelope through a deposit portal on the ATM. Once or twice a day, a bank employee retrieves deposits from the ATM and manually applies deposited funds to customer accounts. However, some banks have more advanced machines that are able to recognise different bills and read checks. These machines credit money to customer accounts directly without a bank employee having to become involved in the process.
Generally, you cannot deposit funds at an ATM owned by another bank. But some banks have equipped ATMs to accept deposits for customers belonging to other banks. The ATMs recognise debit cards belonging to partner banks and only accept deposits made by people belonging to these banks. Small banks with limited ATM networks often partner with larger commercial banks to form these depositing partnerships. Privately owned ATMs not operated by banks cannot accept deposits.
If you deposit funds at an ATM operated by your own bank, the bank must make the first £65 of any checks deposited available the next business day. Banks can hold the remaining balance of any check for between two and seven days. Generally, checks not exceeding £3,250 are subject to two-day holds, while larger checks are held for seven days. Hold times must comply with the Federal Reserve's Regulation CC. Cash deposits are made available the next day. Banks can reduce but not extend hold times.
If you deposit funds at an ATM operated by your bank but located further than 50 feet from an actual branch of your bank, funds are treated as if deposited on the day that the deposits are manually removed from the machine. Most banks empty remote ATMs at least two or three times per week. If you deposit funds at an ATM operated by another bank, your bank can hold the deposit for five business days regardless of the type of funds being deposited.