Africa-Press – Rwanda. Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is a specialised computer that makes it convenient for bank account holders to manage their money. By inserting an ATM card, and entering the Personal Identification Number (PIN), one can access the withdrawing, depositing and bank statement accounts.
The first ATM was set up in June 1967, in London, United Kingdom. The machine which has revitalised the operations of banks and the way it interacts with customers is often credited to a British inventor named John Shepherd-Barron.
By the 1960s, several teams around the world were working independently to revise the method of withdrawing cash from a bank without the dependence of bank managers and tellers.
In the same year, an American named Luther George Simjian invented a bankograph, which is a machine that allows customers to deposit cash and checks into it. After seven years, John Shepherd Barron invented the first one which allowed the users to access at most $ 13 dollars at once.
The move then shifted to the US, being pioneered by Donald Wetzel, a Dallas-based engineer. The first one in the US was installed in 1969 in New York with the slogan, “Our banks will open at 9 am and never close again.” The growth of self-service banking was also marked by the identification of a PIN by Hames Goodfellow, another British engineer.
As both the countries were competing for the rise of the machines, the US experienced the surge of ATM installations since 1977 when a US-based local bank pledged more than $ 100 million to install the machines across New York city.
The US national cash register then launched highly advanced ATMs that allowed banks to operate 24/7. ATMs kept growing till 2018 when they accounted for three million with projections to cross four million by 2021.