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43 Fun Facts about ATM machines.

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43 Fun Facts about ATM machines.

1. There are several highly contested claims as to who originally invented the Automatic Teller Machine.

2. One version is that the ATM machine was invented by Luther George Simijan, a US inventor with many patents, back in 1939.  The mechanical (not electronic) cash-dispensing machine was opened by the City Bank of New York.

3. However, Simijan, the inventor, soon remarked, “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.”  It was removed 6 months later for lack of customer approval.

4. John Shepher-Barron, a Scottish inventor, reportedly was in the bathtub when he had his “eureka!” moment, coming up with the idea of a vending machine that dispenses money, not chocolate bars.  He pitched the idea to the British bank Barclays and they adopted it by 1967.  The machine used PIN codes but not magnetic stripes – it relied on a radioactive isotope carbon to initiate a withdrawal!
5. The first automated, electronic banking machine was introduced by Donald Wetzel, a former pro baseball player.  Wetzel’s ATM was installed in 1969 by Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York.  It was the first machine to read and use the magnetic stripe on plastic bankcards.

6. The use of ATMs really started to take hold around 1973, when 2,000 machines were sold and installed in the United States.  The original price tag was $145,000!

7. These days, an ATM machine costs less than $3,000!

8. ATMs became ubiquitously accepted in 1977, when the chairman of Citibank took a huge gamble and spent $100 million to install the machines all over New York City.  The following January, a huge blizzard hit the city, closing roads and banks, but the ATM machines were still open and use increased by 20%.  After the blizzard, Citibank introduced its “Citi never sleeps,” campaign that depicted a customer plodding through the snow to get to an ATM, and they quickly grew to household acceptance.    
9. When ATMs first gained widespread popularity, it was predicted the number of bank tellers would decline.  In fact, in 1985 there were 484,000 tellers in the U.S. and today there are about 550,000.

ATMs in the U.S.

10. The U.S. has more ATMs than any other nation, but the number declined.  We maxed out around 2005 with 396,000 machines but by 2007, there were only around 360,000.

11. Now, it’s estimated there are approximately 371,000 ATMs in the United States.
There’s a new ATM installed somewhere every five minutes.
12. It’s not just big banks but ISO’s – Independent Sales Organizations – that are adding new ATMs.  In fact, ISO’s represent about 60% in the marketplace today!

Around the world.

13. It’s estimated there are around 2 million ATMs around the globe.

14. There are even two ATMs in Antarctica!

15. Japan has the most ATMs per capita.  After that it’s Spain, South Korea, the United States, and Canada.

16. ATMs have different names in different countries.  In Australia and Canada they’re called “bank machines, “or “money machines,” in New Zealand they’re called “Cash Points,” “Hole-in-the-walls,” in the United Kingdom, and “Bancomats,” in Europe.

17. It took China until 1987 to catch on and install their first ATM.

Customer use.
18. 60% of Americans ages 35-34 and 51% of Americans 25-49 use an ATM at least 8 times per month.
19. Customers who use ATM machines spend an average of 20-25% more than customers who don’t use them. (Why is that?)

20. ATM’s are most popular on Fridays.

21. On average, ATM customers use it about once a week.
22. A bank’s ATM averages 7,000 transactions per month.
23. 78% of the transactions on those machines are withdrawals. 
24. ATM usage is actually declining slightly for two reasons: 1) The popularity of increased online banking and, 2) People use cash less as debit and credit cards are accepted everywhere nowadays.
25. The average ATM withdrawal is $60.

26. When retail locations have ATMs that dispense $20 bills, their sales rise by 8%.  When they dispense $10 bills, they rise by 14%.

27. When bars and nightclubs have ATM machines, they retain up to 80% of the money dispensed!

28. Cash retention by retailers ranges from 30-40%.

29. Most ATM machines hold around $20,000 in cash at any given time, but in high-traffic areas (casinos, airports, etc.) they can hold as much as $100,000!


30. Before 1988, there were no surcharges for using ATMs.  Valley Bank of Nevada, operating in Las Vegas casinos, first started charging customers who did not belong to their bank.

31. From 1988 until 1996, foreign ATM fees averaged about $1.01 USD.

32. As banks and third parties realized the profits they could make they started raising ATM fees.  By 2003, they averaged $2 and now they can be as high as $6.  This is not based on an increased expense or cost of doing business – it’s pure profit.

33. Banks are required by law to disclose their surcharges and fees at the point of transaction.  However, this could be on the screen or even a sticker on the ATM.  But that won’t disclose if your bank has a foreign “ATM network fee,” which may add to the transaction cost.
34. If all of those fees weren’t enough, some banks are starting to charge a “Denial Fee,” if your transaction is denied because of insufficient funds or you exceed your daily limit.

35. In response to the barrage of ATM fees, some independent and online banks, such as USAA, Capital One, and Ally, do not charge ATM surcharges when you use another bank.

36. A good way to avoid ATM fees is to make a cash back purchase at a retail store when you’re buying something – most retailers allow this now up to a certain dollar limit.


37. In 1996, an Englishman named Andrew Stone was convicted of stealing more than one million dollars (US equivalent) by aiming a high-definition video camera at an ATM from down the street.  He recorded names, pin numbers, etc. and used those to create his own clone cards and withdraw up to $10,000 an hour!

38. The first fake ATM was installed at the Buckland Mall in Manchester, Connecticut in 1993.  A local gang called the Buckland Boys modified an out-of-service ATM, allowing them to steal customers’ financial data and rack up over $100,000 before being caught.
The future of ATMs.

39. Over the next three years, almost all of the ATMs in existence will be replaced by models with updated technology.  They’ll have a favorite withdrawal button, communication in 6 foreign languages, and have expanded security hardware and software protocols to protect against skimming.

40. About 30% of ATMs are equipped to serve people with visual impairments.  By 2015, they all will.
41. New ATM technology includes biometric functions that allow customers to be identified by their fingerprints, eyes, face, or voice!

42. Expect modern ATM’s to sell a lot more than just banking services – they’re expected to dispense everything from financial products to movie tickets to flight reservations!

43. Virtual currency services like PayPal and BitCoin are looking to change the game and push innovation when it comes to financial transactions.
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Burlington, MA
Metro Boston Homes For Sale

Jeff, I remember the first ATM machines in India - at HSBC in Mumbai (then Bombay!) (Or was it Citibank?)

Jun 28, 2014 02:14 PM
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

I cannot even remember the last time I used an ATM, I took the finacial peace course and have been on cash since

Jun 28, 2014 04:28 PM
Mark Loewenberg
KW of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
KW 561-214-0370

well worth the read.. I use them for deposits more than anything.. once in a while for a withdrawl.. but at least a weekly use for us

Jun 29, 2014 12:08 AM

Wow! This is a very useful page and I really enjoyed reading article and all users’ comments. Looking for ATM Machines for Sale? We can help. We Sell ATM Machines. ATMs for Sale include Triton, Tranax, WRG, Hyosung, Hantle, Genmega & other ATMs. Thank you for sharing valuable information.

Jul 04, 2014 05:12 PM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Absolutely amazing how much information you had on the ubiquitously  popular ATM machine. I have used them twice in my lifetime, however, I have family members that at times used them as a daily diet. I seemed to notice they usually went off budget with this type of usage. How does that saying go: money burning a hole in my pocket.

Jul 04, 2014 05:37 PM
National Cash Systems

That was really a nice post to read and learn. ATM machines have always been an indispensable need for mankind since its invention. ATM machines have come a long way through its various technical improvements and now its turn for more futuristic, user friendly, robust, secure and smart ATM machines.

Jul 09, 2014 07:59 PM

What is the source of this information?

Apr 28, 2015 04:27 AM

specifically, about customer use?

Apr 28, 2015 04:56 AM


Sep 17, 2017 07:40 PM