ATM, cashpoint, hole in the wall…regardless of how you refer to it, chances are you’ve experienced standing in front of one, and in line for one, more than you realize. Maybe you’ve been outside in subzero temperatures, maybe an absurd service fee has been inflicted upon you, or even a combination of the two.
Nearing its 50-year anniversary, the now ubiquitous cash dispenser made its debut in 1967. Though its uniqueness is undeniable, its origins are a bit knotty. It’s been said the first cash machine appeared in Japan, though there’s very little published on the matter. Whether or not that’s true, Europe certainly had the most successful implementation of after-hours cash dispensers, a response from bankers to the rising labor costs and unionization.
The automated teller machines of today are essentially the culmination of several inventions from multiple people over a few decades. The history is confusing, but we’ve decided to take it upon us to break it down. (more…)