Puneet Varma

Scrip cash dispenser

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A scrip cash dispenser is a computerized telecommunications device that allows a financial institution's customers a secure method of receiving cash in a retail location with the assistance of a cashier.



With a scrip cash dispenser, the customer identifies themselves by inserting a plastic card with a magnetic stripe or a plastic smartcard with a chip, that contains his or her account number. The customer then verifies their identity by entering a passcode, often referred to as a PIN (Personal Identification Number) of four or more digits.

Upon successful entry of the PIN, the customer may perform a cash withdrawal transaction. If the cash withdrawal transaction is approved the machine prints a receipt, which is known as scrip. The customer then takes this scrip to a nearby sales clerk, who then exchanges it for cash from the cash register's cash drawer.

Regulatory view

Some national banking regulators, such as the US Federal Reserve, defines ATM transactions simply as electronic access to one's checking account and makes no distinction or mention of the location of the vault or cash drawer.

Financial networks and Scrip Cash Dispenser

In order to allow a more diverse range of devices to attach to their networks, some interbank networks have passed rules expanding the definition of an ATM to be a terminal that either has the vault within its footprint or utilizes the vault or cash drawer within the merchant establishment. This allows for the use of a scrip cash dispenser transactions to be conducted in a similar manner to ATMs.


Scrip cash dispensers may share many of the same components as an automatic teller machine, but lacks the ability to dispense physical cash and consequently requires no vault.

An ATM typically is made up of the following devices:

  • CPU (to control the user interface and transaction devices)
  • Magnetic and/or Chip card reader (to identify the customer)
  • PIN Pad (similar in layout to a Touch tone or Calculator keypad), often manufactured as part of a secure enclosure.
  • Secure cryptoprocessor, generally within a secure enclosure.
  • Display (used by the customer for performing the transaction)
  • Function key buttons (usually close to the display) (used to select the various aspects of the transaction)
  • Record Printer (to provide the customer with a record of their transaction)
  • Housing (for aesthetics and to attach signage to)
  • Advantages versus conventional ATMs

  • Cheaper to purchase
  • Fewer moving parts
  • Simpler servicing procedures
  • Disadvantages versus conventional ATMs

  • Transactions can not be completed without interaction with a cashier
  • Device form factor is often the same as a POS Terminal, which limits interaction methods
  • Possibility of counterfeiting of receipts
  • References

    Scrip cash dispenser Wikipedia

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