Early ATM Devices Essay Sample

Published: 2022-11-27
Early ATM Devices Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories: Technology Banking
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1525 words
13 min read

ATMs are currently a standard part of banking communications yet during their invention in the 1960s; they were a leading innovation. An automated teller machine (ATM) is an electronic telecommunication tool which helps clients in financial institutions to make financial transactions, like getting their bank statement, transfer funds, cash deposits, and withdrawals, by communicating with their banks through this automated device anytime with no need of interacting directly with the bank staff. Today, the ATM is such a regular part of every day's life that it is odd to imagine that it was once a high-tech device. Although in the 1960s, when the early ATM was first installed at London's Barclays Bank, it was groundbreaking.

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Moreover, for several years, ATMs became more than just cash dispensers. They permit customers to complete some banking services, such as talk time top-ups. Given that the early ATM was such a prominent feature in people's wellbeing, it is of importance to have a clear understanding of its background, abilities, social and intellectual factors behind its development, influence, and drawbacks that led to its replacements.


The early ATM was created more than five decades ago, in 1967. Majority of the people perceived this as the first tangible proof that there were significant transformations in retail banking; introducing the automated teller machine signified the beginning of modern banking. Most investors participated in the creation of the ATM, including Luther Simiian and Don Wetzel in the United States, and James Goodfellow and John Barron in the United Kingdom, as well as manufacturing firms such as Omron Tateisi, and De La Rue, though the ATM is an intricate technology (Delvin, 1995). No single flash signified its onset.

The Automated Teller Machine has its roots in the 1950s and 1960s, when candy dispensers, automatic public-transportation ticketing, supermarkets, and self-service gas stations were made famous. Japan saw the installment of the first ATM device in the mid-1960s though there is no much publishing concerning it (Batiz-Lazo, 2015). The utmost fruitful early distributions happened in Europe when investors retorted to growing labor costs and increasing unionization by lobbying innovators to create an explanation for late-hours money transfers. This step led to three free trials, that became useful in 1967: the Chubb and the Barclays cash in the Uk, and Bankomat in Sweden (Batiz-Lazo, 2015). By late 1960s, nevertheless, things were evolving, and the majority of the population - more pleased with the notion of self-service and more eager to have faith in different technologies - was ready to try out the electronic banking.

The ATMs main goal was to support several amenities at a realistic fee. But complexity and cost raised than their hopes hence leading to IP based technology. Motivated by the incorporation of telephony and data networks, it is known as broadband cohesive service vision (Delvin, 1995). The automated teller machine is connection oriented, and information's are first sent to format the link. The message is divided into tiny packets referred to as cells, and these cells are communicated asynchronously. The use of statically sized 'cells' made it compelling, after the connection, every cell followed a similar path, and the message could be transmitted via a wire or packaged in other payload carrier systems. The safety of packet delivery was unreliable but if the packet gets to its destination the command is safe (Curran & King, 2008).

Intellectual and Social Sources Behind its Innovation

Cashpoints emerged from a vast chain of communication technologies. Some were there for a purpose, like the cash dispensing devices, and the earlier non-existent system which communicated a coded PIN with the client's account. Others were general like the windows operating system, magnetic tape, plastic, video-display units, and steel (McDyson & Spohn, 1998). The creation of these devices was through dynamic partnerships between groups of engineers and bankers, who endeavored to find solutions to the diverse features of the intricate trials essential in the invention of automated teller machines.

In 1967, John Barron - a Scottish inventor, was relaxing in the bathtub when he had a prodigy thought: If vending machines can dispense chocolate bars, why not cash? London's Barclays bank was impressed by the impression, and Barron's cashpoint machine was fixed on the Enfield High Street branch within a short time (Batiz-Lazo, 2015). Unlike modern automated teller machines, the early ATM did not use plastic cards. Instead, it made use of paper checks published by harmful toner so that the device could identify them. The client could key in a credentials code and take a maximum of ten euros in cash at a time. In the United States, Donald Wetzel - a Dallas engineer - developed the earliest automated banking machine. Wetzel's machine-made use of plastic cards such as the ones used in the modern ATMs. The first of Wetzel's devices were installed on a Chemical Bank branch in September 1969 (Delvin, 1995).

Apprising significant accounts from the transaction device is comfortable in the current e-commerce and mobile banking world, although the ATM was among the original systems to employ simultaneous communication. The progression of the early ATM, generating a means of communicating with the central processor (and thus informing clients of the status of their accounts) turned into a principal structural concern (Curran & King, 2008). Years after the first ATM device got installed in Sweden and England; innovators were working in Japan (Omron Tateisi), the United States (Diebold and Docutel), and Britain (Speytec-Burroughs). They all installed ATMs in their native nations and across Latin America, Cyprus, Israel, Canada, and Europe. Nevertheless, in the early 1980s, innovators like Docutel, De La Rue, and Chubb left the industry since they all failed to maintain developments in electronics and computing (Batiz-Lazo, 2015).

Citibank neglected strategies to sell its decorum CAT-2 and CAT-1 structures and, in its place, went ahead to apply it in its universal, propriety system until the 1990s. This case is not similar to IBM, that possessed the business contacts, engineering expertise, and marketing muscle to rule the market. The firm appeared self-assured to overpower its competitors until managers came up with the idea of deploying a new model (IBM 4732) that was discordant with other models, including the successful IBM 3624 (Batiz-Lazo, 2015). Several banking institutions gauged the device and declined to purchase it since it played a part in making the banks' main funds in the earlier computer system old-fashioned. The undesirability went past the external tools within the banks to the software and machines which braced interaction over the institution's system, as well as to ideas for joint early ATM grids. The move made by IBM turned banks, inadeptly, initiating the automated teller machine business to other early ATM builders. Ultimately, IBM uncontrolled payment-expertise structures utterly.

Drawbacks of the Early ATM

Electronic communication devices have at no point been so visible to the rudiments. Hence the need for man's involvement in earlier structures requested more mechanization. For example, they can quickly jam. They might inaccurately hand out more cash instead of the required amount - without the owner knowing. Activation was by paper or plastic tokens which could enable for operating the bank only, and, in certain situations, only that specific bank. Individual banks would go to the extent of keeping the tokens in the machine and return it to the client once the account was debited. Early ATM devices were inflexible, unfriendly, clunky, and standalone. They were in a position of accomplishing just one task: dispensing money when triggered by a mark (McDyson & Spohn, 1998).


With such limitations, it is not a surprise that it took several years for financial institutions to install cash vending machines after some experiments. During its initial years, some thought that the ATMs could bring change to the users. This calculation may have seemed to be specific; ATMs were present before debit or credit cards and were a better substitute to coins and bills, at a time when the majority of the people in the world worked in a cash economy. Except for France and the United States, individual checks were as well for the affluent only.

Hence, from its uncertain and humble start over fifty years back, the automated teller machine turned out to be pervasive. But it was not until the 1980's that its success was guaranteed. In the current financial world, we use our PINs on the internet, libraries, and all sorts of retail stores where debit cards are the existing currency. The almost complete universal incorporation of improved automated teller machine systems shows that we could travel the universe with a piece of card in the pocket. For most of its digital inventions, the customer-bank communication and swift supply of real money is still the principal, transformative function of the automated teller machine.


Batiz-Lazo, B. (2015). A Brief History of the ATM. The Atlantic. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/03/a-brief-history-of-the-atm/388547/

Curran, K., & King, D. (2008). Investigating the human-computer interaction problems with automated teller machine navigation menus. Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 5(1), 59-79. Doi: 10.1108/17415650810871583

Devlin, J. F. (1995). Technology and innovation in retail banking distribution. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 13(4), 19-25. Doi: 10.1108/02652329510082915

McDysan, D. E., & Spohn, D. L. (1998). ATM theory and applications. McGraw-Hill Professional.

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