ATM Machines Celebrates 50th Anniversary

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An automated teller machine, known in the United States of America as an automatic teller machine. Thanks to an invention accredited to John Shepherd-Barron and De La Rue Instruments Ltd, Barclays installed the first ATM in London in 1967.

Fourteen years later, Standard Bank introduced South Africa to ATMs by installing 25 AutoBanks in Johannesburg.

The ATMs were successful and highlighted the fact that consumers were desperate for after-hours banking.

Today there are more than 3 million ATMs placed conveniently all over the world and they don’t look anything like their erstwhile counterparts.

After the first ATM was installed and functional, the goal was to make them better and faster. Several power players in the financial services, computing and telecommunications industries contributed.

In no time, users were able to transact at ATMs from different banks and at ATMs across the world, thanks to interbank networking and international card associations such as MasterCard and Visa.

Then came the expansion of tasks that ATMs could carry out: they grew from facilitating cash withdrawals and deposits to making money transfers, detailed account reviews and bill payments possible.

By the 80s and 90s, ATMs could be found all over the world. More manufacturers than ever, such as Diebold, NCR, Triton and IBM, as well as independent deployers (like ATM Solutions in 1999) entered the field.

The ATM was invented to make certain banking services (specifically withdrawals) available to customers outside of banking hours. Over time, more services started becoming available through the ATMs such as loan applications and prepaid services. Self-service banking is in line with the growing trend of consumers expecting more, faster.

ATM Solutions, founded by Steven Kark, group CEO in 1999, was the first independent deployer and operator of ATMs in South Africa.

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