How to Use a Prague ATM
Many people are happy to use an ATM as they are reliable and getting quite common. This guide shows you what to expect from a Prague ATM.
SCAM: The external ATM’s of some Prague bank branches have been targeted in the past for a copy scam. A false top plate and card reader plate appear normal but, the bank rejects the request. A camera in the top plate has recorded your PIN and the card reader has enough information to make an identical card.
HOW TO BEAT IT: Don’t use external ATM’s. If you have to, cover the keypad with your free hand as you enter the code. If you are rejected twice, let somebody else try, if they get rejected inform the bank and ask them to check the machine.
How a Prague ATM works
Smart ATM’s are being installed in many places. If you are using a foreign credit card etc the machine will automatically detect the make of card and primary language (English is default) so you go straight to “enter PIN”.
- Insert card
- Select Language
- Enter PIN (There is no restriction on the amount of digits. Some banks then require you to press enter, others require you to press the green button and others will have an option for “press this button if correct“)
- Select if you want to withdraw from account or credit.
- Enter amount (press a button against one of the options on the screen i.e. 500kc, 1000kc or 2000kc etc)
- If you want to withdraw more money than is being offered, there will be a button for “Other Amount” and you will then be asked to enter the amount that you want. (this may depend on the limit of your card or the limit that the bank imposes. In general you can get 10,000kc from any ATM if your card allows it).
- Alternatively the Prague ATM may offer you a choice of denominations.
- You may be asked if you want a receipt, select “yes” to continue (the Komercni Bank sometimes cancels a transaction if no receipt is requested).
Some banks eject everything at the same time i.e. your card, money and receipt all appear at once. Take the money before you take the card or receipt (the money can be retracted).
NOTE: if you want to know where ATMs are located in central Prague then go to my Generate Online Maps page and zoom to step 3. The green “banknote” icons indicate the ATM locations.
It is safer and more convenient to use a Prague ATM located within a bank and as large denomination notes are frequently given, the bank will break them down to smaller denominations free of charge. Be aware that although the ATM is located in a bank, it may not be operated by the bank. The CSOB bank uses a contractor to operate it’s Prague ATM system. Note that this does not eliminate problems but it does reduce them. ATM’s within shops and private buildings are notorious for breaking down and keeping cards. At least if the bank ATM breaks down you’ve got a better chance of getting your card back the next day.
Need smaller money? Then request an amount in denominations of CZK200 i.e. 800 or 1400 etc. You’re guaranteed to get a couple of smaller notes. Raiffeisen Bank ATM’s offer the choice of different banknotes if available. If you’ve got location services enabled on your phone then get directions to your nearest Raiffeisen Bank ATM.
I’ve known it several times that tourists think the transaction has not worked but, in fact the account was debited. Take it up with your credit card company or bank and give them the receipt details. If you get no receipt, make a note of the bank name, street, local time and amount requested in local currency. Also read my Cash or Card post for tips on getting money and spending it wisely.