Most banking institutions in Cameroon (UBA, Ecobank, Afriland First Bank and the rest) often issue ATM cards without educating their client on how to use an ATM machine i.e. they will only give you an ATM pin and hand over your ATM card to you.
Using an ATM machine for cash withdrawal is not as easy as inserting your ATM card in to an ATM machine and pressing a single button for the ATM to dispense cash.
There are series of procedures which you need to follow in order to get an ATM machine to dispense cash.
Failure to follow the procedures, may result to disaster as your ATM card can get trapped in an ATM machine and because of this, you may not be able to withdraw money from your account/prepaid card for that day as most banks in Cameroon will tell you to come the next day to get your ATM card.
Luckily, you don’t need a formal training in order to use an ATM machine. In other words, its very easy to use an ATM machine for cash withdrawal. I guess this could be the reason why most banks in Cameroon don’t bother to educate their clients on how to use an ATM machine to withdraw money from their bank accounts or prepaid cards For the first Time…because they know that they will eventually figure it out by themselves.
In my opinion the hardest part about using an ATM machine is, how to insert an ATM card in to an ATM machine. This is the only thing that somebody needs to teach you about using an ATM machine.
ATM machines are user friendly and self-explanatory i.e. once you have successfully inserted your ATM card in to an ATM machine, the ATM machine will give you clear instructions on everything you need to do in order to successfully withdraw money.
The only category of people in Cameroon who will find it difficult to use an ATM machine, are the stacked illiterate and people with visual impairment.
If you can read, then you will be able to use an ATM card to withdraw money from an ATM machine with no head ache.
How to Use an ATM Card in Cameroon For the First Time.
Most Cameroonians who have never used an ATM machine before, are often filled with anxiety when they enter an ATM booth for the first time to withdraw cash. Many are under the impression that they may end up pressing the wrong button and spoil an ATM machine.
The first thing you need to do when you enter an ATM booth, is to calm down. Like i mentioned earlier, its very easy to use an ATM machine. In fact, if you already know how to use an Android smartphone to dial USSD codes to subscribe to internet bundles, then you can easily use an ATM machine to withdraw money from your bank account or prepaid card.
How an ATM machine looks like.
An ATM machine a computer-like device equipped with a number pad and 4 buttons on each left and right side of the screen which you can use to operate the ATM machine.
The number pads has numbers which range from 0 to 9, an erase button and enter button. This number pad is used by ATM users to enter their ATM pin and the amount they wish to withdraw from the cash dispenser.
There are also 8 buttons of various color (4 on each left and right sides of the screen of an ATM Machine), which you will need to use to choose among various options presented by an ATM machine.
There’s also an ATM card slot on an ATM machine where you can insert your bank card and a cash dispenser; where cash comes out of an ATM machine. There’s also an area where receipt comes out.
Ok enough of all this talking, let get down to business.
Procedures on how to use an ATM machine in Cameroon for the first time.
1) Insert your ATM card in to the ATM slot. There’s an arrow icon on every ATM card which shows you how an ATM card should be inserted in to an ATM machine. The part with the arrow icon goes in first.
2) After you have successfully inserted your card in to the ATM machine, read the instruction on the screen of the ATM machine. You will be asked to choose your preferred language to receive instruction.
Like i mentioned earlier, ATM machines are self-explanatory i.e. once you have successfully inserted your ATM card in to an ATM machine, the ATM machine will give you instructions on everything you need to do in order to successfully withdraw money.
To choose your preferred language, press the button beside the screen which correspond to English or French option as shown in the screenshot below.
3) After you have chosen your preferred language, you will be expected to enter your 4 digit pin code in order to commence the withdrawal process. Use the numberpad to enter your ATM pin and press the enter button when you are done.
4) After you have entered your pin, the ATM machine will present to you various cash amounts you can withdraw. Press the button which correspond to the amount you wish to withdraw.
5) After you have selected the amount you wish to wish to withdraw, within seconds, the ATM machine will dispense the amount.
6) After you have collected the money, you will see a message on your screen asking you if you will like to do another transaction. Choose the “YES” option to repeat the same procedure to withdraw another amount of money or choose the “NO” option. If you choose the NO option, the ATM machine will automatically eject your ATM card from the ATM machine. You can then collect your ATM card and leave the ATM booth.
List of ATM machines in Cameroon where you can withdraw money using your ATM card.
UBA Cameroon ATM
Ecobank Cameroon ATM
Afriland First Bank Cameroon ATM
Most banks will allow you to withdraw money from their ATM for free if the ATM card was issued by their bank. For example if you go to a UBA ATM Booth to withdraw money using an Ecobank bank card, you will be expected to pay withdrawal charges; which is automatically deducted from your bank account or prepaid card.
Safety precaution you need to follow when using an ATM card in
Do not enter a wrong pin more than 3 times or else your card will get trapped in an ATM machine.
Do not ask a stranger to help you to withdraw money from an ATM or reveal your ATM pin to the stranger. Most people often ask the security guards available in the banks to help them to withdraw money from their cards for the first time. Anybody who knows your ATM pin can steal it and use it to withdraw money from your account. Not even your girl friend or boy friend deserves to know your ATM pin. The bible says love all but none.
Follow the instructions on your screen strictly and fast i.e. when choosing among the various options on your screen, be very quick. As soon as various options appear on your screen, choose within 10 seconds. If you don’t choose an option after 10 seconds, you will start hearing a terrifying beeping sound. If you don’t do anything 10 seconds after the alarm goes off, your ATM card will get trapped in the ATM machine.