Barclays celebrates golden anniversary of the ATM

Barclays celebrates golden anniversary of the ATM

Barclays Bank has given the ATM at its Enfield branch a lick of gold paint to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the cash machine.

The installation of the first ATM at the London borough paved the way for a revolution in the distribution of cash to consumers and spawned a global industry, with three million of the ubiquitous machines now in operation across the world.

Raheel Ahmed, head of customer experience at Barclays, comments on the golden anniversary: "Even though recent years have seen a huge uptake of digital banking and card payments, cash remains a crucial part of most people's day-to-day lives - whether it is paying for groceries or doing the office coffee run - and we're very proud of the role that Barclays has played in the history of the cash machine."

A total of £180 billion in notes were dispensed from the UK's national network of 70,000 cash machines last year.

Lu Zurawski, payments lead at ACI Worldwide expects to see an ongoing evolution in the use of cash machines as the ATM adapts to the trend for mobile banking and ushers in a new era of cardless cash withdrawals.

“I don’t see the ATMs heading for retirement any time soon," he says. "As well as being ubiquitous and simple to use, some people prefer hard cash as a deliberate way of controlling their spending. It shouldn’t be a surprise that ATMs remain so popular - they’re an incredibly successful piece of social technology. The trend towards regional bank branch closures may put an even greater emphasis on the role of the ATM, including services beyond simple cash withdrawal.”

His views are disputed by German bank Fidor, which continues to bang the drum for a cashless utopian future. Sophie Guibaud, VP of European expansion at Fidor says: “Now with the ATM turning fifty, it's time we accepted a new reality that cash has reached its final days and the future is cashless, in more developed countries to start with. While ATMs should be fondly remembered, thanks to today’s rapid technological advances, we’ll soon feel the same about those days when we carried cash around with us too.”

Comments: (10)

Melvin Haskins
Melvin Haskins - Haston International Limited - 27 June, 2017, 10:202 likes 2 likes

As someone who worked nearby and banked with Barclays at the time I used the ATM when it first appeared. What is not mentioned in this article, or any other article in the press, is that it did not use plastic cards. You were sent five ten pound cheques in the post and you then inserted the cheques in the machine to get ten pounds out. The cheques had paper tape punched holes through the middle and your sort code and account number in MICR along the bottom.

Hitesh Thakkar
Hitesh Thakkar - FIS Payments Software and Services India - India 27 June, 2017, 13:092 likes 2 likes

Disagree with Fidor 's view as till the last country on earth using Cash, we may not call it for final days for Cash.

Each culture, society and country has it's own transition to adopt new changes whether it's technology, finance or any other thing. You can imagine a scenario - Your Wallet can be hit with ransomware and to release it need to pay let us say 50% of value....new way of e-bugglers...do you feel it's safe to use digital wallet or Cash?

Note: Before answering imagine you are struck with this situation while paying for Taxi or Hotel away from Home !!

Lu Zurawski
Lu Zurawski - ACI Worldwide - London 27 June, 2017, 13:23Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes Perhaps Sophie is right. As a payments nerd I really hope so. I need to travel back from Copenhagen via Hamburg tomorrow. So I will conduct a Hamburger taxi driver cashless society opinion poll and report back on how close we are to end of ATM.
Melvin Haskins
Melvin Haskins - Haston International Limited - 27 June, 2017, 16:312 likes 2 likes

I was under the impression that Germany is the biggest user of cash in the Western world. It is the Germans who insist on the continuation of the printing of the 500 Euro note, the largest note in circulation in Europe. If you want to get rid of cash. get rid of large value notes

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 27 June, 2017, 18:38Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

South Korea is widely acclaimed to be years ahead of the ROW in mobile payments. But it still has the highest ATM density in the world! (Source). Looks like Fidor hasn't heard of this.

On a side note, from personal experience, all coffee shops (and cafeterias) inside Barclays premises went cashless nearly 10 years ago. Not sure whyMr. Raheel Ahmed, head of customer experience at Barclays, thinks you need cash for the office coffee run - cash is not required inside his office at least for that purpose, for sure!

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 27 June, 2017, 18:42Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@MelvinHaskins: You must write about your experience with the world's first ATM - along with a picture of those 10 pound cheques, if possible:) Every time someone says banks are not innovative, I cite ATM - and credit card - as counter-examples.

Melvin Haskins
Melvin Haskins - Haston International Limited - 28 June, 2017, 08:331 like 1 like

Ketharaman, there are no photographs, although Barclays themselves may have a copy in their archives. You need to understand that ten pounds was a significant sum of money in the UK in 1967. In my first job I earned 14 pounds per week before tax, and that included shift allowance. Barclays sent a pack of five ten pound cheques to their customers in the post for you to use as you wished. I am certain that the ATM's were stand alone - i.e. no links to a central computer. They installed a number of these ATM's around the country - I used one in Cardiff in South Wales in 1971. I have no idea how long they were in use before being replaced by the next generation.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 28 June, 2017, 11:35Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@MelvinHaskins:

TY for your reply. I can easily believe that the ATMs of that era were standalone. Decades later, in 2000 in Germany, my bank's ATM was (partially) standalone. If I had EUR 1000 in my account and withdrew EUR 100 from the ATM, the ATM would continue to reflect a balance of EUR 1000 until midnight. I say "partially" because the ATM would let me withdraw only up to EUR 900 with immediate effect. To get my updated balance of EUR 900, I'd have to insert my debit-cum-ATM card into a machine located inside the ATM center, which would print all transactions that happened after my last printout of the statement.

Lu Zurawski
Lu Zurawski - ACI Worldwide - London 28 June, 2017, 11:41Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Melvyn - Was it true the original (pre-card) paper vouchers were embedded with some radioactive compound as a counterfeit measure?

Melvin Haskins
Melvin Haskins - Haston International Limited - 28 June, 2017, 12:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Lu, again no idea on the radioactive compound. I was 19 and naiive. The paper vouchers looked exactly like today's business cheques (checks), i.e. large in size, but had a series of diffent sized circular punched holes through the centre horzontally - exactly the same as paper tape, if you remember what that is. They also had your bank details in MICR along the bottom, exactly the same as cheques today. I believe that they were retrieved from the machine in the morning and then put into clearing the same way as regular cheques.

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