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Fun Facts About ATM Machines


There are many things that are so common and ubiquitous in society that we don’t give a lot of thought towards them. For most people, ATM machines fall into this category. We like ATM machines because they give us cash when we need it, but aside from that, most people don’t put deep thought into investigating the history of these machines, much less any interesting trivia about them.

But as an ATM business ourselves, we know quite a bit about these nifty devices, and as with just about every other invention in this world, there are interesting things you can learn about them if you just dive in.

Are you looking for ATM machines for sale in Richmond? Your purchase might be all the more satisfying if you know the following fun facts about ATM machines:

ATM Machines Are Most Popular On Friday

If you’re a business owner who is considering purchasing an ATM machine for your premises, this is actually a fairly useful piece of information, as you could use your own traffic analytics to determine how viable the endeavor is.

ATM machines tend to get the most use nation-wide on Fridays. This isn’t too surprising. Friday, after all, is the precious weekend, and everyone who works a 9-5 weekday schedule eagerly awaits its embrace. People tend to let loose on friday, spending more money on food, drink, and fun.

Are you the type of business who gets a lot more business over the weekend? If this is true, you could definitely benefit from having an ATM on site!

ATMs Were Inspired By Vending Machines

There is some controversy over which ATM machine was officially the “first” one, as it’s generally credited to three different machines which were created, independent of each other, in the late 60s.

Patents suggest that the first machine to be put into widespread use was created by John Shepherd-Barron, being installed at Barclays Bank in London in 1967. But regardless of whether his machine was officially the first or not, it’s interesting to see Barron’s own thoughts on his invention.

Speaking of the machine, Barron said, “It struck me there must be a way I could get my own money, anywhere in the world or the UK. I hit upon the idea of a chocolate bar dispenser, but replacing chocolate with cash.”

That’s right, simple vending machines were the inspiration for the model that would eventually form the foundation for the ATM machines we use today! Looking back, it seems like such an obvious idea, but it never really clicked for anyone until Barron started imagining chocolate as cash.

The Four-Digit Pin Was Created Because of One Person’s Forgetful Memory

While we’re on the subject of John Shepherd-Barron, it’s also worth noting that he was the eventual mastermind behind the PIN system which is still used today. But did you know that your PIN could have been longer, if not for one person?

When brainstorming the idea, Barron recalled his six-digit army identification number. Because he had it memorized for so many years, he deemed that it was a good basis for PIN numbers. But when he ran the idea by his wife, she said she had trouble remembering more than four numbers, so he backpedaled and made the PIN system that we know today.

Let’s all give a collective “thank you” to Barron’s wife Caroline for her four-digit preferences. We have so many numbers we need to memorize for so many things — we certainly don’t need PIN numbers to be any longer than they already are, thank you!

The Original ATMS Only Gave One Type of Bill

Nowadays, you can pull quite a bit of money from an ATM. The ATM machines we have for sale have different upper limits on how much you can withdraw, but in general, they cap anywhere between $500 and $3000.

The original ATMs only dispensed one £10 bill at a time, which is equivalent to about $14 in USD. The funny thing is, ATM machines haven’t changed that much. Most of the machines you’re used to in the US dispense in $20 increments, even if you’re pulling out hundreds of dollars. It helps to keep things simple! While you can pull a lot more out at a time, don’t expect a lot of bill variety.

The Digital Age Hasn’t Slowed Down ATMs

We’re moving into a world that’s becoming increasingly paperless, and that doesn’t just mean office documents and newspapers — cash is also a casualty of the digital age, and you’ll find that far less people carry cash in their pockets than they did ten or twenty or thirty years ago. Unbelievably, some stores have even dropped cash altogether — did you know, for example, that Amazon retail locations don’t accept any physical currency?

Because of this, it would make sense for ATM machine growth to be slowed down, but ATMs are selling just as much as they ever have, with no real indication of slowing down. While there’s not a concrete answer as to why ATMs haven’t been heavily affected by the digital age, the answer could paradoxically be that more people want to have cash on hand the rarer it becomes.

Because online payment systems have become ubiquitous, it’s sort of a shock to people when you can’t use your credit card, PayPal, or smartphone to pay. If a certain transaction is cash only, it’s frustrating when you don’t have any on-hand.

And, of course, there are still plenty of reasons to have cash. The digital age has, in certain ways, blown up certain venues of cash transactions. Craigslist, for example, is used by millions of people all over the country to informally exchange goods. Cash is the go-to payment method for these transactions, and they wouldn’t be happening if it weren’t for the worldwide web which connects us all.

In other words, if you’re on the fence about picking up an ATM machine for your business because you’re concerned that they’ll go out of style, cast those worries aside! ATM machines will be around for a long while.

The World Wasn’t Ready For ATMs in the 30s

While the creation of the ATM machine is generally credited to the aforementioned John Shepherd-Barron, you might be surprised to find that there was actually an attempt made decades before, in 1939, by a man named Luther George Simjian.

He had over 20 patents for a device which could dispense cash based on one’s bank balance, which went through a six month trial at what is now known as Citibank. The machine was considered a commercial failure and it never saw widespread release. Tragically, this wasn’t due to functionality. As it turns out, most of the world just wasn’t ready for it.

Simjian lamented that “the only people using the machines were a small number of prostitutes and gamblers who didn’t want to deal with tellers face to face,” and because there was such little demand, the bank retired the idea. Indeed, in an age where digital currency was not yet in vogue, it seems like most people didn’t see much convenience in an ATM machine unless they were trying to mask their seedy deeds. What a shame!

ATM Machines For Sale In Richmond

Today, ATM machines are commonplace in just about every single street corner, and they provide a host of benefits to businesses that accommodate them. At Tritec, we specialize in selling and installing ATM machines to businesses in the Richmond area. We have an incredible variety of ATM products, and we know you’ll find something that’s perfect for your needs if you browse our selection.

Whether you need a brand new ATM machine, ATM supplies, or other ATM services such as installation, we’ve got you covered. Got any questions for us? We invite you to contact us today!

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