DO NOT check this box if you are using a public computer. User IDs potentially containing sensitive information will not be saved.
Sign on to Online Banking
Join The Party: The ATM Celebrates Its 50th Birthday
It’s hard to imagine life before ATMs. Read how they have transformed from simple “cash machines” to full-functioning mini branches where you can manage almost any transaction.
The next time you make that mad dash for cash by visiting a convenient automated teller machine, think about these little-known ATM fun facts:
- The man credited with inventing the first ATM in England, it is said, came up with the idea while taking a bath;
- There are 3 million ATMs all over the world. Antarctica, Northern Lapland (above the Arctic Circle), Fiji and Easter Island are among the most exotic locations with ATMs;
- Each hour, there are 11.3 million ATM transactions worldwide; each month, more than 30 million total transactions are conducted at PNC ATMs;
- Each minute, $420,000 U.S. dollars are withdrawn from ATMs all over the world;
- In March 2017, PNC ATMs dispensed $2.9 billion of cash – the highest amount ever recorded by the bank in a single month; and
- The ATM is celebrating its 50th birthday!
On June 27, 1967, the first ATM began operating in a London, England suburb. From that point forward, the capabilities of the ATM have evolved to make it an integral part of everyday life.
Consider that Millennials, currently the generation with the highest population in the U.S. today, have never known a world without ATMs. They don’t remember a time when people rushed to a bank branch for a withdrawal before it closed on Friday afternoon or be stuck without cash all weekend.
Ken Justice, who has worked in the ATM world for 35 years and heads PNC Bank’s network – the fourth largest among banks in the U.S. – has seen the machines and their capabilities significantly transform through the years.
“The first ATM I ever worked with back in 1982 did not remotely resemble what we see today,” Justice said. “Other than dispensing cash and accepting deposits, you wouldn’t recognize it now. The functionality has advanced light years. Virtually everything you can do at a teller window you can now do at an ATM.”
Early machines had just basic functions such as cash withdrawal and deposits.
Justice points to a number of key milestones in the advancement of the ATM, including: upgraded software and hardware in the 1980s that vastly improved reliability; the huge proliferation in ATMs located off of bank property and the introduction of networks, such as “MAC” machines in the 1990s; and imaging software in the early 2000s that made it possible to read deposited checks for faster availability of funds in one day, as opposed to several.
“It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a day when you had to use envelopes to deposit money and branch employees had to count it before you received credit for the transaction. That was little better than a night depository,” Justice said.
Paralleling the rapid expansion of networks, PNC’s own network has grown enormously. The first known ATM of a PNC predecessor bank was put into service in Cleveland by National City Bank in 1971. Today, PNC manages approximately 9,000 units located in 21 states and the District of Columbia, and its network continues to grow. PNC’s focus is on convenience, so about half the total network is located outside of bank properties, including convenience stores, stadiums, train stations and college campuses.
The modern ATM allows customers to deposits checks and cash without envelopes, receive receipts by email, make balance inquiries and transfer money between accounts. Later this year you will be able to use the ATM without a card.
Given the rapid advances of the past 50 years, consumers should expect much more to come, such as the ability to remotely set up a transaction without using a card and choosing bill denominations.
“We’ve seen much conversation about a so-called cashless society, but all indications point to the fact that use of cash is increasing, not decreasing. We also know that while the use of mobile banking is becoming more popular and likely will grow exponentially in the coming years, the need for the ATM won’t change anytime soon,” Justice said.
The Friday afternoon frantic rush to the branch teller may be a thing of the past and thanks to new technology we’ll see even more benefits from the ATM as technology take additional leaps.
Bank on it.
Ken Justice says all indications point to the fact that use of cash is increasing, not decreasing
PNC Point of View
Real People. Real Perspective. Real Insights.
Read more POV Stories »
You May Also Be Interested in Visiting...
Important Legal Disclosures & Information
These articles are for general information purposes only and are not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting or financial advice. PNC urges its customers to do independent research and to consult with financial and legal professionals before making any financial decisions.
This site may provide reference to Internet sites as a convenience to our readers. While PNC endeavors to provide resources that are reputable and safe, we cannot be held responsible for the information, products or services obtained on such sites and will not be liable for any damages arising from your access to such sites. The content, accuracy, opinions expressed and links provided by these resources are not investigated, verified, monitored or endorsed by PNC.
© 2017 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
GET IN TOUCH
Banking on the Go
We have tools to help you bank when and where you want.Mobile Apps Directory »
Be part of our inclusive culture that strives for excellence and rewards talent.Visit PNC Careers »
The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved.