Are Self-service Bank paying in machines safe?

Do you worry about paying your cash into a self service machine?  Well maybe you should be !!

A legal loophole is leaving bank customers who use self-service paying-in machines at risk, experts warn.  The machines, which require customers to post cash using an envelope, do not issue receipts – meaning there is no legal right to demand it back if the cash goes missing.  Hundreds of people a year are denied compensation by their bank after claiming they have lost money deposited in their account this way, says the Financial Ombudsman Service.

If cash is lost or stolen when staff members count it at the end of the day, the bank can deny it ever existed since there is no evidence of how much was paid in.  According to the Financial Services Authority (FSA), customers have little legal protection if their money goes missing and the acknowledgment slip is the only proof they have.

James Daley, editor of Which? Money, adds: ‘If banks are not willing to provide a guarantee, then they should be putting signs up at the machine warning customers.’  Customers who lose their money in this way can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service, but only half of all complaints it received last year were upheld.

All six of the banking groups have introduced new machines which count the cash and provide proper receipts, but not all branches have them.

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