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27 Jun 2017

#ThisDayThatYear: 50th anniversary of ATMs

ATMs maybe old-fashioned but they are still important

Every country, including India, is trying to go for a cashless economy in the future.

However, the Bank of England's chief cashier believes that no matter how popular digital transactions become, cash will continue to be a part of our lives.

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first ATM or automated teller machine unveiled to the consumers.

Here's all about it.

In context

ATMs maybe old-fashioned but they are still important
Cash is not fading away anytime soon


Cash is not fading away anytime soon

Nowadays more people are making digital transactions than they did even 2-3 years back. The use of notes and coins, while making transactions, might have fallen but it is still considerable enough to matter and is a big part of Bank of England's future plans.

Bank of England's chief cashier, Victoria Cleland said that 94% of all UK adults still use ATMs.


Today it all started

The world's first ATM was unveiled at a Barclays branch in Enfield, London exactly 50 years ago today and to commemorate this golden anniversary, Barclays Bank has turned the present Enfield cash dispensing machine into gold.

The "hole in the wall machine" was devised by Scottish inventor John Shepherd-Barron, who had signed a contract with the bank to create the first six ATMs.

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Necessity, they say, is the mother of all inventions


Necessity, they say, is the mother of all inventions

The idea struck John Shepherd-Barron when he was one minute late to the Bank and it had closed down.

Barron mused that there should be a better way of getting cash than being at the mercy of the bank. That's how ATM was born based on the idea of chocolate vending machines, where if you place cash in a slot, a bar comes out.


For his dear wife

Barron stumbled upon the chief general manager of Barclays and the rest is history.

The first ATM allowed users to withdraw a fixed sum of £10 from their bank accounts by inserting a special voucher, which was processed similarly like a cheque.

Initially, ATMs had a six-digit PIN, which was changed to four because Barron's wife Caroline could only remember four digits.

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