Because ATMs (cash machines) are used frequently, they are designed to handle a high number of payment transactions. Due to heavy use, dirt easily accumulates in the card reader, which can prevent ATMs from working properly. With every transaction, debit and credit cards deposit skin oils on magnetic heads, and facilitate the build-up of dust and dirt in the card reader. In addition, the varying air humidity and large variations in outdoor temperature can prevent ATMs from performing adequately. Consequently, reading errors can occur, and the ATM can stop working entirely.
For some years now in many countries the cash withdrawals can be done only after proper reading of the microchip on the debit or credit card. Once an ATM card is fed into the card reader, chip contacts are pressed onto the card’s microchip (landing contacts technology). No friction occurs between the card microchip and the card reader chip contacts. Clean chip contacts are extremely important for defect free payment transaction, as even a small amount of skin oils affecting the chip contacts can disrupt the ATM operation.