¬ Summarize the main idea of the text in eight-ten sentences.
Read the text for further comprehension work.
Automatic cash machines are now a common sight in high streets all over Britain, and there is no doubt that they are a convenient way of withdrawing cash 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Customers have a plastic card and a four-figure personal identification number (PIN). When they put the card into the machine and type their PIN into the computer, customers can withdraw cash, check their bank balance, and sometimes even order a new cheque book and deposit money.
A recent report from the National Consumer Council, however, has found some problems with these machines. Cus≠tomers have complained that they have not received the correct money, or that their bank statements show two debits for a single withdrawal. There have even been a few cases where customers say that their statements show cash withdrawal, when they have never even used machine.
Take the case of Mrs. Woollard of Lopswich. She noticed a debit of £55 on her statement; the cash had been with≠drawn from a Barclay Bank machine at 7.21 a.m. Mrs. Woollard says that at that time in the morning all her family is having breakfast and getting ready to leave the house at 7.40. She follows later at 8.30 a.m. The bank says that it is impossible for anyone to withdraw money without knowing and using Mrs. Woollard's confi≠dential PIN.
To be fair, the scale of the problem is actually very small. Last year autobank machines were used for about 280 million transactions, while banks had to investi≠gate only one in 250,000 transactions. Most of these were easy to sort out.
Following their report, the NCC recommends that people with cash cards should guard their cards at all times, me≠morize the PIN and never tell the number to anyone.
Read the text again. Find a paragraph which:
a) gives a particular example of a problem associated with automatic cash machines.
b) describes how cash machines work, and how customers can use them.
c) suggests one way in which the public can help themselves.
d) describes several things that can go wrong with cash machines.
e) compares the number of problems with the total number of times cash machines are used.
Which of these users of cash machines are not mentioned in the paragraph?
a) withdrawing cash
b) changing money into a foreign currency
c) paying money into an account
d) asking to borrow money
e) ordering a new cheque book
f) checking how much money you have in your bank account
Read the text about money and develop your linguistic and cultural competence in his area. Say, what new have you learned about money in Britain and America.
Money is used for buying or selling goods, for measuring value and for storing wealth. Almost every country now has a money economy based on coins and paper bills of one kind or another. However, this has not always been true. In primitive societies a system of barter was used. Barter was a system of direct exchange of goods. Somebody could exchange a sheep, for example, for anything in the market-place that they considered to be of equal value. Barter, however, was a very unsatisfactory system because people's precise needs seldom coincided. People needed a more practical system of exchange, and various money systems developed based on goods which the members of a society recog≠nized as having value. Cattle, grain, teeth, shells, feathers, skulls, salt, tobacco have all been used. Precious metals gradually took over because, when made into coins, they were portable, durable, recognizable, and divisible into larger and smaller units of value.
American money comes in coins worth 1 (pennies), 5 (nickels), 10 (dimes), 25 (quarters), and 50, though half dollars aren't very common. Paper money is in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20, $100. Two, fifty and one-hundred dollar bills exist, but they aren't common. Don't be surprised if a bank teller or store clerk looks very closely at a hundred dollar bill to make sure it's real!
British money comes in coins which are as follows. Coppers: one penny (1p), two pence (2p). Silver: five pence (5p), ten pence (10ū), twenty pence (20p), fifty pence (50p). Gold: one pound (£1). There are bank notes at £5, £10, £20 and £50.
The one-pound coin has four different designs: an English one, a Scottish one, a Northern Irish one and a Welsh one (on which the inscription on the side is in Welsh; on all the others it is in Latin).
In Scotland, banknotes with a design are issued. These notes are perfectly legal in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but banks and shops are not obliged to accept them if they don't want to and nobody has the right to demand change in Scottish notes.
Banks are open in Britain from 9.30 to 3.30, Monday to Friday. Some are also open on Saturday mornings. Outside these times, you can often change money at Thomas Cook or other travel agents, during normal shop hours (9 to 5 or 5.30 p.m.). Outside London there are rarely any other places to change money.