ATMs have been an integral part in American lifestyle, and have revolutionized the way people withdraw cash. Despite businesses growing to primarily card transactions, some banks are even increasing their ATM investment.
The idea of an ATM started with people wondering how to get cash to spend outside of bank hours. This was the thought that many banks and inventors had and attempted to solve. People say Shepherd Barron, an inventor, created the first ATM, but this is not the case as many ATM experts say the idea has been in use way before Barron’s first ATM. There were also many other machines that popped up the month after Barron released his first ATM, indicating that there were many other people around the world that had the same idea.
These first ATM inventions were prototypes of ATMs, as their functionality does not even compare to a modern ATM. Some had certain functions that make an ATM useful, but missed out on other functions that may have been too complex to include. The ATM industry however, did benefit from the many inventors as a modern ATM is a combination of many technological pieces that come together and make an ATM function as an automated teller that can actually be used instead of a bank.
Because of the technological limitations, ATMs were popular in the 1960s, but were not actually adopted until the 1980s, when most ATMs finally read a magnetic stripe to then dispense money. Before the magnetic stripe, people had to get an authorized paper to withdraw money, which is basically like going to a teller to withdraw money, but with an extra step. Once the limitation was removed, that was the time consumers started to see the value in ATMs and ATM growth exploded.