A Florida man caused roughly $5,000 in damages to an ATM at a Wells Fargo bank branch in Cocoa, Florida after it dispensed too much money.
The Associated Press reported that 23-year-old Michael Joseph Oleksik was arrested after damaging the ATM, and was later charged with criminal mischief when bank officials decided to press charges. The Florida man told police he beat up the ATM machine because it gave him too much cash, and he was in a hurry to get to work and didn’t know what to do. He apologized for the damage he caused, reported the AP.
Oleksik’s attack of an ATM comes just after the cash machine celebrated its 50th birthday this past June, proving that cash still rules in the U.S. and many other places around the world. Back in 1967, consumers could only access cash through over-the-counter (OTC) withdrawals. The space changed when Barclays Bank announced the launch of the world’s first ATM, which could dispense up to 10 £1 pound notes in exchange for a bank-issued voucher.
When it comes to making payments in the U.S., cash continues to be the hands-down choice for most Americans, according to the Global Cash Index. Despite the growth of alternative forms of payment, cash is used in the U.S. more than any other method, with about 62 percent of transactions valued at $10 or less paid with cash.
According to the Federal Reserve’s 2015 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, consumers’ preference for using cash for small-value transactions comes out of a desire for convenience and not merchant-specific pressure, such as acceptance of cards for transactions that are over a certain dollar value. With consumers continuing to choose cash over cards for a significant chunk of their day-to-day transactions, the responsibility rests on banks and FinTech firms to offer products that truly add value to consumers’ payment preferences.