Our country still does not use ATM machines the way developed countries do; going to the bank for cash withdrawal or dealing in cash only is the norm, despite the massive demonetization drive.
Thus in this background, it comes as a surprise to know that UK or rather the “ATM world” is celebrating 50 years of its existence. The brainchild of Scottish inventor Shepherd-Barron, the first ATM (automated teller machine) was opened on June 27, 1967, at a branch of Barclays bank in Enfield, north London, the first of six cash dispensers commissioned by the bank. Actor Reg Varney, who starred in the British comedy show ‘On The Buses’, was the first to withdraw cash from the machine.
To commemorate the anniversary, Barclays transformed the ATM at its Enfield branch into gold, added a commemorative plaque and placed a red carpet in front for its users.
50 years have gone by since the first ATM was installed. And we are still grappling with machines which do not run or people in rural India almost never reaching for ATMs for cash. Indeed India has a long way to go before we start calling ourselves a developed nation.