Everyday millions of people visit an ATM to quickly and conveniently withdraw or deposit money. Something so simple is easily taken for granted. Here, we look at seven facts you may not have known about ATMs.
1 – Many can stake a claim on originating the mechanical ATM.
According to Jeff Sipes of Blue Water Credit, “One version is that the ATM machine was invented by Luther George Simijan, a US inventor with many patents, back in 1939. The mechanical (not electronic) cash-dispensing machine was opened by the City Bank of New York.”
2 -The next of the early implementers of ATM services, Scottish inventor John Shepherd-Barron, claimed to be in the bathtub when he came up with the idea for a vending machine that dispenses money instead of chocolate bars.
Former pro baseball player Donald Wetzel introduced the first machine to read and use the magnetic strips on bankcards.
3 – Speaking of Shepherd-Barron, his wife is the reason behind the 4-digit PIN number.
According to Z News, Shepherd-Barron originally proposed a six-figure number in the 1960s: “But he decided to consult with his wife Caroline. But his wife could only remember four digits, and hence it became the most commonly used length in many places. However banks in Switzerland and many other countries require a six-digit Pin.”
4 – The United States currently has 420,000 ATMs.
“That’s more than any other country,” writes Len Penzo, who runs a personal finance blog.
5 – In terms of ATMs per capita, though, Canada takes first place.
Canada is followed by Belgium, Australia and Russia.
6 – In Australia and Canada, ATMs are called automated banking machines, bank machines or money machines.
In the UK and New Zealand, it’s cashpoint or cash machine. And in Europe, the term used is bancomat.
7 – Some ATMs dispense gold!
The ATM in the lobby of the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi is gold-plated and dispenses 320 items made of gold. There are currently about 20 gold-dispensing ATMs, installed in the United States, Switzerland, Australia, Germany and Great Britain.