Funny Money: Gold ATM launched to celebrate 50th anniversary

Published by Helen Knapman on 27 June 2017.
Last updated on 27 June 2017

Funny Money: Gold ATM launched to celebrate 50th anniversary

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the world’s first ATM, which Barclays unveiled at its Enfield branch in London on 27 June 1967.

To celebrate, one of the cash points at the Enfield branch has been turned “gold” (pictured above) to mark the “golden” anniversary.

The original ATM was the brainchild of John Shepherd-Barron, who Barclays commissioned to create six cash dispensers – the first of which was installed at Enfield. Actor Reg Varney, of the ITV sitcom On the Buses, was the star of the opening and the first person to use the invention.

Despite a decline in using cash, it’s still the most popular form of payment – cash was used for 15.4 billion payments in 2016, according to Payment UK – and the ATM continues to thrive 50 years on. In December 2016, the UK record for the most cash withdrawn in a day was broken, according to the ATM Industry Association, as Christmas shoppers withdrew £730 million.

June 2017 also marks 30 years since Barclays introduced the debit card (3 June 1987), which it says was another first for UK banking.

Did you know?

To mark the occasion, Barclays has also put together a list of quirky ATM facts:

  • There are 70,000 ATMs in the UK.
  • 92% of all £10 notes in circulation are acquired through ATMs.
  • The first 'drive-thru' cash machine in the UK was opened on 22 May 1998 at Hatton Cross, near Heathrow Airport by TV presenter Cheryl Baker.
  • The world’s most northerly ATM is at Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway.
  • The world’s most southerly ATM is at the McMurdo station at the South Pole.
  • Vatican City in Italy is home to the world's only ATM that can give instructions in Latin. The instructions reportedly read:

    INSERTO
    SCIDULAM
    QUAESO UT
    FACIUNDAM
    COGNOSCAS
    RATIONEM

Email editor@moneywise.co.uk if you can work out the English translation.

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