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Some Las Vegas ATMs empty because of unemployment pay withdraws

Updated May 8, 2020 - 6:47 pm

When Henderson resident Daryl Martini visited the Bank of America location on Sunset Road and Green Valley Parkway on Friday, he found he was unable to access cash at its drive-thru ATM.

He turned around and joined the line for the next machine. But again, it had run dry.

It wasn’t until he hit the third machine that he was finally able to access cash, after waiting around half an hour in line.

“(That location) has had empty ATMs at least three times I have been there,” Martini said. “There have been two occasions where my withdrawal of over $500 came in $10 and $5 bills.”

As a record number of Nevadans seek and receive unemployment insurance debit cards, some Bank of America ATMs around the Las Vegas Valley are running low on cash.

Bank of America spokesman Andy Aldridge said the company is replenishing ATMs every day or two, excluding Sundays, but some locals are still reporting empty machines.

Las Vegas-area resident John Monks said he found the Bank of America near the Galleria at Sunset mall empty about three weeks ago.

“I pulled up and couldn’t take money out,” he said, adding that the next machine was stocked. “(The banks are) always busy now, with lines wrapped around buildings, out the lobby, and 10-deep at ATMs.”

Martini said he has had at most five or six cars ahead of him while waiting to reach a drive-thru ATM.

“It has really been more of a minor inconvenience for me,” he said. “I certainly understand why ATMs would be so busy.”

There have been 440,761 initial unemployment claims filed in Nevada between Jan. 1 and May 2, according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, and the state’s unemployment insurance debit cards are Bank of America-branded.

The bank has roughly 220 ATMs in the Las Vegas market, and those connected to financial centers may be refilled faster than off-site machines.

Aldridge said that those with UI debit cards don’t have to use Bank of America ATMs to access their unemployment insurance benefits.

Claimants receive a Bank of America debit card that allows them unlimited free cash withdrawal at any Bank of America, Allpoint ATM or MasterCard ATM. A full list of ATMs can be found on Bank of America’s website.

JP Morgan Chase spokesman Peter Kelley said there are no cash shortages reported at its ATMs in the valley.

“Chase has enough cash available to meet the needs of our customers,” Kelley said. “Our vendors continue to service our branches ensuring that ATMs and branches have cash.”

Wells Fargo spokesman Tony Timmons said he was not aware of any cash shortages at their ATMs in the valley but said the company uses an external vendor, Brink’s, to replenish their machines. Spokespeople from the company did not return a request for comment.

According to DETR’s website, it costs $1.25 to withdraw money with the UI debit card from out-of-network ATMs, and these ATMs may charge additional fee for using the machine.

For those who don’t want to rely on the debit card, DETR’s website says claimants can receive benefit payments in the form of a paper check by contacting the Unemployment Insurance Support Services Office at 775-684-3802. Benefit payments by check might be delayed because of additional processing and mailing time.

Those receiving unemployment insurance benefits can direct deposit funds from their debit card into their traditional checking or savings account through DETR’s Customer Service website.

Contact Bailey Schulz at bschulz@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0233. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.

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