World’s First Automated Teller Machine Celebrates 50 Years Anniversary

The world’s first ATM clocks 50 years today. The automated teller machine have revolutionize the way and manner people all over the world obtain and use cash, it has completely changed the face of the world’s financial system.

Sir Thomas Bland, Deputy Chairman of Barclays Bank, unveils the first Barclaycash machine in the London borough of Enfield, UK, 27th June 1967. Behind him is Mr A. G. Norman, Chairman of De La Rue, and on the right is actor Reg Varney (1916 – 2008). (Photo by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The machine was invented by the Scot, shepherd-Barron on June 27, 1967, it is believed that he had the idea while he was taking his bath. He later shared the idea of the device to the British bank Barclays. It was subsequently accepted, and the first model was built and installed in London in 1967. Though the machine used PIN (personal identification number) codes, a concept Shepherd-Barron also claims to have invented, it was dependent on checks impregnated with the (slightly) radioactive isotope carbon 14 to initiate a withdrawal, as the magnetic coding for ATM cards had not yet been developed. One other difference from its ubiquitous modern counterpart: it didn’t charge a fee.

To honor the golden anniversary, Barclays transformed the ATM at its Enfield branch into gold, added a commemorative plaque and placed a red carpet in front for its users.

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