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Operating an ATM Using Spanish Instructions

Some ATMs are bilingual; they flash their signals in both Spanish and English. Others give you instructions only in Spanish. In case you happen upon a machine that displays its messages in Spanish, here are the sentences you see in the order in which they appear:

  • Introduzca su tarjeta por favor. (een-troh-doos-kah soo tahr-Heh-tah pohr-fah-bvohr) (Insert your card please.)

  • Por favor teclee su número confidencial. (pohr fah-bvohr teh-kleh-eh soo noo-meh-roh kohn-fee-dehn-seeahl) (Please type your PIN [your confidential number].)

At this point, you have to press the button that reads: Continuar (kohn-tee-nooahr) (Continue). After you press the button, the following choices appear:

  • Retiro en efectivo (reh-tee-roh ehn eh-fehk-tee-bvoh) (Cash withdrawal)

    If you choose cash withdrawal, these other choices come up:

    • Tarjeta de crédito (tahr-Heh-tah deh kreh-dee-toh) (Credit card)

    • Cuenta de cheques (kooehn-tah deh cheh-kehs) (Checking account)

    • Débito/inversiones (deh-bvee-toh/een-bvehr-seeoh-nehs) (Debit/investments)

  • Consulta de saldo (kohn-sool-tah deh sahl-doh) (Checking your balance)

If you’re slow about pressing those buttons, these signs came up:

  • ¿Requiere más tiempo? (reh-keeeh-reh mahs teeehm-poh?) Do you need more time?

  • Sí/No (see/noh) (Yes/No)

If you press yes, you go back to the previous screen. When this happens, choose cuenta de cheques (kooehn-tah deh cheh-kehs), which gives you choices for cash:

  • 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 1000, 1500

  • ¿Otra cantidad? (oh-trah kahn-tee-dahd) (Another amount?)

Press the key for the desired amount, and your money comes out. Then the following messages come up:

  • Entregado (ehn-treh-gah-doh) (Delivered)

  • Saldo (sahl-doh) (Balance)

  • Por favor tome su dinero (pohr fah-bvohr toh-meh soo dee-neh-roh) (Please take your money)

Keep all the receipts that ATMs deliver. If you get no receipt or if your trip to the ATM was unsuccessful, be sure to write down the place, time, and date. When you arrive home, check everything against your bank statement. Also, be sure to check that no amount was debited to you on those occasions when you received no money from the ATM. Follow your bank’s procedures if you see any discrepancies.

The exchange rate you get at the ATM is definitely the most favorable, because it’s bank exchange — between the other bank and yours — which is better than what you get at other currency-exchanging outlets.

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