Sixty two years ago today, as I was commencing my junior year in high school, the first Automated Teller Machine, called the “Docuteller,” began dispensing cash at Chemical Bank in Rockville Centre, New York. According to a Wired article,
It marked the first time reusable, magnetically coded cards were used to withdraw cash.
Nowadays, ATMs are ubiquitous. Mag stripe cards are widely used for identification at ATMs and in many other applications. EMV chip-and-PIN cards are becoming more broadly used in the US, although they have been used widely in Europe for many years.
Wide proliferation of ATMs dramatically changed the consumer banking industry. I suppose that mobile banking apps and mobile payments are now changing banking as dramatically as ATMs did over the past sixty years!
By the way, the Chemical Bank ATM was not the first ATM in the world. The British beat the US by a couple of years, albeit without the mag stripe plastic ATM card. According to Wikipedia,
It is widely accepted that the first ATM was put into use by Barclays Bank in its Enfield Town branch in north London, United Kingdom, on 27 June 1967. This machine was inaugurated by English comedy actor Reg Varney This instance of the invention is credited to John Shepherd-Barron of printing firm De La Rue, who was awarded an OBE in the 2005 New Year Honours. This design used paper cheques issued by a teller or cashier, marked with carbon-14 for machine readability and security, which in a latter model were matched with a personal identification number (PIN).
We have come a long way!