Top 10 Facts You Didn’t Know About Automated Teller Machines (ATM)


Automated Teller Machines (ATM)

How many of these fun facts did you know about automated bank teller machines (or ATMs, for short)?

1.   Believe it or not, the first cash dispensing machine was invented by Luther George Simjian way back in 1939.   The mechanical dispenser was installed in New York City at the City Bank of New York but was removed after only six months due to lack of customer acceptance.
2.   Simjian later lamented that, “the only people using the machines were a small number of prostitutes and gamblers who didn’t want to deal with tellers face to face.”
3. Simjian had another invention that was much more successful during that era: a simulator that could be used to train aviators in identifying types of aircraft and determining their distance and speed.   During World War II, the U.S. Navy bought more than 2000 of them from Simjian.   The number of ATMs he sold during that same period: 0.
4. The first modern electronic ATM was installed in Enfield Town in North London, United Kingdom in 1967 by Barclays Bank.   Instead of cash, though, the ATM dispensed vouchers.
5. The first free standing electronic ATM was installed in 1969 by Chemical Bank at its branch in Rockville Centre, New York.   This device was the first machine to use the magnetic stripe on plastic cards.
6.   ATMs didn’t begin to proliferate until 1973, when 2,000 of the machines were sold and distributed across the United States.   Not everybody was happy; bankers at the time were concerned about the machine’s price tag: $145,000 (in 2009 dollars).   Today an ATM can be bought for under $3000.
7. Sixty percent of Americans ages 25-34 and 51% ages 25-49 use ATM machines eight times per month, withdrawing an average of $55.00 per transaction.
8. TGIF: The most popular day for ATM use is Friday.   On a related note, night clubs with ATMs end up keeping 70-80% of the money dispensed from their cash machines.
9. The United States currently has more ATMs than any other country — but their numbers are dropping.   The Boston Globe reports that after peaking at 396,000 in 2005, the number of US-based ATMs fell to 360,659 in 2007.
10.   Japan has more ATMs than any other country on a per capita basis.   The next four countries in order: Spain, South Korea, the United States, and Canada.

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