First ATM in the World Turns Gold on 50th Anniversary

Published June 28th, 2017 - 09:53 GMT
A woman uses a golden ATM on the 50th anniversary of the world's first cash machine. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/ AFP)
A woman uses a golden ATM on the 50th anniversary of the world's first cash machine. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/ AFP)

The world marked the 50th anniversary of the automated teller machine by unveiling a golden cashpoint at the site of the world's first ATM in Enfield, north London on Tuesday.

"To celebrate the ATM's golden anniversary - an iconic moment in banking - Barclays is turning the Enfield cash machine into a local landmark," the British-based bank said.

Britain now has some 70,000 cash machines, each dispensing an annual average of 2.5 million pounds (3.25 million dollars), according to the US-based ATM Industry Association.

"Even though recent years have seen a huge uptake of digital banking and card payments, cash remains a crucial part of most people's day-to-day lives," said Raheel Ahmed, Barclays' head of customer experience.

"From launching the world's first ATM back in 1967, to becoming the first UK bank to offer contactless and mobile cash withdrawals in 2016, Barclays has always been at the forefront of innovation," Ahmed said.

Victoria Cleland, chief cashier of the Bank of England, said that, in an age of contactless, online and other forms of cashless payment, many people were "surprised to learn that demand for cash continues to grow."

"The value of Bank of England notes in circulation peaked in the run-up to Christmas 2016, reaching over 70 billion pounds for the first time - an increase of 10 per cent on a year earlier," Cleland said in a speech ahead of the ATM anniversary.

"This is the fastest growth we've seen in a decade, and a giant leap compared to the 2.9 billion pounds when the ATM was born."

 


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