Wednesday, June 02, 2021View Showroom
On 27th June 1967, the world’s first semi-automated cash dispenser – later to be known as the Automated Teller Machine – was unveiled by Barclays Bank at its North London Branch in Enfield.
Fifty-four years later, this humble machine can now be found at over 3.2 million locations around the world, with many having transformed into sophisticated deposit-taking, cash recycling, currency converting, video-linked financial services hubs capable of replacing bank branches. Despite recent closures, the overall number is growing.
“Some of these ATMs are pretty extreme,” said James Shepherd-Barron, son of the ATM’s ‘inventor’ and founder of The ATM Appreciation Society. “Did you know,” he said by way of example, “that the world’s smallest ATM is on a Bagel stall in New York City? Or that the world’s ‘wettest’ is in County Cork, Ireland and that floating ATMs are used in flood relief operations in Pakistan? Did you know that ATMs contain up to 32 sensors, some of which are capable of monitoring behavioural biometrics to the point that kidnapping and human trafficking can be thwarted? Or that they can monitor the spread of communicable diseases such as Covid-19?”
“Half of the adult world is forced to rely on cash,” he went on. “To many of them, the ATM is not a luxury; it is indispensable. Yet, at the same time, it is so under-appreciated. We walk past them every day but don’t stop to reflect on how crucial they are to the way most of the world still lives.”
“I founded The ATM Appreciation Society to celebrate what is actually the world’s original ‘fintech’ and to highlight the pivotal role cash machines play in reducing disaster risk and enhancing financial inclusion. I also wanted to highlight the awesome technologies involved, not just in the machine but in the cash it contains.”
And what better way to celebrate than by having a birthday party every year on 27th June where we can announce that year’s ‘Most Extreme ATM’.
For More Information, see https://theatmappreciationsociety.org
or contact [email protected] on +44 (0) 7785 703490
NOTE FOR EDITORS
Founded in 2017 by the son of the ATM’s inventor, the ATM Appreciation Society exists solely to celebrate the awesomeness of cash machines and highlight its contribution to society, including in alleviating poverty and reducing disaster risk. Its manifesto asks members to ‘Look up, lean in, not take the ATM for granted, and remind themselves that a cashless society is no society at all.’ ( see https://theatmappreciationsociety.org/manifesto )
Access to cash is a human right. That's why you can find ATMs in some of the most inhospitable and difficult-to-reach places on the planet. The society’s website lists those which are considered the ‘most extreme’. These include the Highest, Lowest, Tastiest, Wettest, Fastest, Foggiest and Richest.
The inaugural ‘World ATM Day’ will be celebrated on 27th June 2021 to mark the day the world's first cash machine was unveiled at the Enfield Branch of Barclays Bank in Enfield, North London (UK). It will be celebrated annually thereafter with the announcement of that year’s ‘Extreme ATM of the Year’ as voted for by members.