5 Fun Facts About ATM Machines

On September 2, 1969, the first automatic teller machine was opened to the public at Chemical Bank in Rockville Centre, New York. Explore the following fun facts about ATM machines.


The ATM Machine Was Invented in 1939 # In 2015, a gang of five thieves in New York robbed 73 ATM machines, including one that was just around the corner from the police station. Luther George Simjian invented the first machine that could dispense cash back in 1939, and the first dispenser was placed at the City Bank of New York to see how well the public responded to it. Customers in this early day were leery about using the newfangled gadget, so the machine was removed six months later. Simjian reportedly said that only gamblers and prostitutes were willing to use it because they didn’t want to deal with a face-to-face transaction with one of the tellers.

The Machines Originally Only Took Deposits # Most robberies at ATM machines occur between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and midnight. Using a well-lit area with high traffic increases safety at these late hours. Apparently, banks were the only real benefactors of the early ATM machines because customers could make a deposit, but a machine to dispense cash hadn’t been invented yet. John Shepherd-Barron, a British inventor, came up with the idea of a machine to dispense cash back in the 1960s; and Barclay bank, based in London, liked the idea well enough to become its first purchaser.


ATM Machines Didn’t Start Becoming Common Until 1973 It wasn’t until the early 1970s that ATMs became more common, and clients didn’t have to rush to their local bank during lunch hour to cash a check or make a deposit. The early ATMs came at a hefty price tag for banks to buy at about $162,000 apiece. The price for an ATM machine has dropped considerably -- they can be purchased now for less than $3,000.

Users Were Robbed by Using a Fake ATM in Connecticut In 1993, The Bucklands Boys, a gang of criminals, installed a counterfeit ATM at a Manchester, Connecticut, shopping mall. They used the information supplied by customers from their cards to steal $100,000 before they were caught. It took weeks to find the gang members, but authorities tracked them down because they did not pay the bills they owed for the equipment they bought to build the fake machine.

Not All ATMs Distribute Money While most ATMs can be used to distribute money, in Abu Dhabi at the Emirates Palace hotel and in 20 other locations, the customer puts in money and it dispenses their choice of more 320 gold items. In India, ATMs have a more practical use -- machines can distribute water to customers where clean water is in short supply.