Used to be, it just seemed like you spent four decades waiting at the ATM for a transaction to go through. But now it really has been 40 years. On this day in 1972, Lloyds booted up the very first ever computerized self-service automated teller machine. 

An article by Easier noted the milestone and reminisced about the "first" that launched an industry. Lloyds initially launched 500 of the machines at a cost of  £3.5 million ($5.6 million). Developed in partnership by IBM and Lloyds, the machine relied on a magnetic-striped card and PIN to identify the customer and enable the transaction. In the U.S. and many other countries, it's still done this way.

"The first real Automated Teller Machine was a breakthrough in retail banking," said former IBM UK chief Sir Anthony Cleaver, who was a systems engineer 40 years ago when he was handed the task of creating an automated process to reduce congestion at Lloyds teller counters.

"While automated banking has grown more sophisticated over the years, the Cashpoint's core features have stayed the same, which shows how revolutionary this technology was in its day," Cleaver said. 

For more on this topic, visit the bank automation research center.

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User Comments – Give us your opinion!
  • Jim Stewart
    Bad info. The first ATMs were built and installed in the USA by Docutel Corporation in Irving, Texas in 1970!!
  • Suzanne Cluckey
    The key word is "computerized" — this is what makes the machine "modern-day." Docutel ATMs were electromechanical, I believe.
  • Doug Parr
    Don Wetzel had a pretty significant role at Docutel too. Many feel as I do that he in fact may have been the father of the ATM.
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