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Who invented The ATM Machine ?

by Nidhi Paul

We all hate to go to bank and stand in queue to take money out. It’s because of busy schedule and lack of time and the strict banking hours. At the present scenario it has become difficult to maintain the same. With the invention of ATM machine and its instrument ATM card our lives has really become easy and relax. But have we ever given a thought that who has created this wonderful machine? Is ATM only a machine ? A short glance of it’s different services Actually NO. 

John Shepherd Barron born in India to Scottish parents in 1925 was the master mind behind this ATM machine. The idea came into his mind when he also faced the same problem like us. He got one minute late in reaching his bank to withdraw money. The idea clicked his mind with the idea of chocolate vending machines. 

John Shepherd Barron
John Shepherd Barron

In 1967 the first Automated Teller Machine (ATM) got installed at a branch in Enfield London. The idea was sold to Barclays Bank. The concept differs from today. Initially the ATM machine could be operated by inserting a special cheque. This special cheque was encoded with a radioactive substance called carbon-14. The cheque has to be matched by a PIN number. Once done the plastic card could be inserted inside the machine better known as ATM Card today. 

In 2007, Shepherd-Barron was given a lifetime achievement award by the ATM Industry Association. In 2005, he was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). The contribution done by John Shepherd Barron calls for a salute. He has made our life hassle free. There are now about two million cash machines worldwide. We lost this great man on 20th May 2010 after a short illness. 

I know the second thought that will come in your mind is what about the ATM machines that we are using today? Who invented that as there we just need to insert the ATM card first and then the PIN Number is asked for. 

Scot James Goodfellow, developed an alternative ATM design. He invented an automated system with an encrypted card and a PIN number and that’s the one being used around the world today. ATM machines have ensured that you can travel all around without keeping the headache of carrying huge money in your pocket.

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