If you need cash, then the local bank cashpoints are often used. One of the great advantages of cashpoints of course is that you can travel the world cashless these days and just get local currency at any cashpoint. Long gone in the distant past is the idea of traveller’s cheques, in fact when I gave a recent presentation none of the younger people in the audience had a clue what they were. I think on the most part they have been consigned to history along with the idea of having film in your camera.
As regular travellers it’s great to be able to simply arrive in a country and be able to get local cash so easily. If your PA or office change plans and you end up going to Singapore instead of Boston as planned, then it’s no problem as far as the cash goes. Cash and a couple of credit cards along with a passport mean that you are truly free to travel the globe.
Of course, everything this convenient has a negative to it. We sometimes forget how much technology like this has revolutionised the way we live. However along with every new idea someone somewhere is working out how to create a fraud or low level crime such as theft from each change. Having previously run a major fraud department it amazed me how clever some of these people were. There really is no better advert to the local low life than someone stood at a cashpoint. “Sorry I don’t have any cash” will no longer wash they just saw you draw out a wad of notes. I have simply lost count of the number of beggars I have seen across the globe sitting at the side of a cashpoint machine.
There are basically two major designs of cashpoint machines. There are those based in a room normally as part of a bank but sometimes in shopping malls where you swipe your card to gain entry. The second type is often simply referred to as hole in the wall machines. As this suggests they are just fixed to the side of a wall outside banks, garages and shops.
Neither offers you the protection of people not realising you are gathering cash. If you are simply making a deposit, then you should assume that bystanders believe you have just withdrawn cash.
There are several ways we can look at these different setups as each has advantages and disadvantages for you. If we look at the cashpoints in the context of assault the room based systems have a slightly improved security as in theory everyone in there has swiped their card to gain entry and they are always well covered by cameras. However, it’s possible a stolen card could be used to gain entry, so you shouldn’t lower your guard. Additionally, if there is any kind of robbery or confrontation you are then trapped in this locked room with your attacker. Even a well-meaning passer-by can’t come to your aid and assistance. CCTV is great in helping the police catch who ever robbed, raped or murdered you after the event but never rely on CCTV to protect you before or during your struggles. If you are in one of these types of areas with cashpoints and someone knocks on the door asking to be let in what would you do?