Little Bits of History


Posted in History by patriciahysell on June 27, 2011

Automatic Teller Machine

June 27, 1967: The world’s first ATM is installed at Barclay’s, a bank in Enfield, London. A New York City bank had a similar machine installed back in 1939, but it was pulled after six months because no one would use it. A quarter-century later, John Shepherd-Barron was frustrated when he couldn’t access his accounts on weekends. He was a managing director at De La Rue Instruments and devised a machine that would allow him better access to his money. He created an “auto-teller.”

The De La Rue Automatic Cash System worked with chemically coated cheques that were purchased in advance and could then be used when the bank itself was closed. Reg Varney, a British television personality was the first person to use the new machine. By the early 2000s, there were over 800,000 machines worldwide. Diebold, NCR, and Wincor Nixdorf are the top three manufacturers, but De La Rue still holds 20% market share.

ATM stands for Automatic Teller Machine and so when calling them an ATM machine, it is rather redundant. Other fun names for the ubiquitous helper are Drink-Link [Ireland], Hole-in-the-Wall [New Zealand, Australia, UK], and Bancomat [Europe and Russia].

Today’s machines accept plastic cards with a magnetic stripe or smartcards with a chip. The magnetic stripe or chip contains information regarding accounts and data associated with them. Access is made after confirmation by entering your Personal Identification Number [PIN] into the machine. Some fees may apply when using an ATM, especially if you are outside your banking institution’s network. Security and safety are issues as well. Software solutions are updated regularly and location issues are dealt with by teaching customers routine safety precautions. Security cameras are often utilized and there is spacing etiquette while others are using a machine. There are also maximum amounts of cash that can be withdrawn.

“ATM machines are all over the place. They’re in Croatia. They’re in Hungary. It’s the way people operate all over Europe.” – Carol Mickelsen

“Eighty-six percent of institutions will charge you for using a different bank’s ATM.” – Greg McBride

“With the branches that remain open, there will be longer lines. Sometimes a bank will basically close the larger branches and push people onto ATMs or even supermarket branches.” -Kenneth Thomas

“ATMs are the black hole of finance.” – Dee Lee

Also on this day:
The Oscar of the Children’s Library – In 1922, the Newbery Medal was first awarded.
Collinswood – In 1966, Dark Shadows premiered.

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One Response

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  1. GYSC said, on June 27, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Oh wow! Had no idea about the history of the ATM!

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