ATMs Have a Fascinating History that is Bound to Surprise You

The first versions of ATMs appeared in the 1960s but were not too popular at first.
Loukia Papadopoulos

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Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) have become so commonplace that it is hard to imagine our lives without them. However, it wasn't too long ago that these machines did not exist and most transactions were done in banks.

How did these now indispensable machines come to be and who invented them? The answer is not that simple or straightforward as ATMs are the result of a lot of inventions over time.

The first versions of ATMs were called Bankographs and came about in the 1960s as the invention of Luther Simjian. However, they weren't too popular at the time as they were only used by prostitutes and gamblers who desired a faceless way to make deposits.

It seems regular folks did not trust machines with their money yet. It took till the end of the 1960s for people in the U.S. to become willing to use self-service banking but that did not stop ATMs from showing up in other places in the world.

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In 1966, the first cash-dispensing machine was installed in Japan while in 1967 an inventor from Scotland named John Shepherd-Barron invented a machine that dispensed paper vouchers.

Both these machines had limitations and were not fully functioning ATMs yet. What were these limitations and how did we finally come to today's popular ubiquitous ATMs? You have to watch the video to find that out!


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