Today in History: First ATM opens for business
On this day in 1969, the first automatic teller machine (ATM) opened for business and the evolution of a very complex piece of technology began its way to what we commonly use today. Not only ATM revolutionized the banking industry by getting rid of the need to reach a bank to withdraw money, but it completely reshaped the world of commerce, allowing for easier availability of cash at any time.
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While several inventors contributed to the final product, Don Wetzel is generally credited as the man behind the idea. According to History.com he conceived it while waiting in line at the bank and in an era when the first automated services for supermarkets, ticketing, dispensers and gas stations were just beginning to become popular.
The first American ATM was installed at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. The machine continued to evolve and was gradually adopted away from banks and into restaurants, stores and other locations. Today there are over 1 million ATMs around the world but our monetary system evolved even beyond traditional bills and coins with platforms such as Venmo or PayPal.me, which allow users to perform peer-to-peer transactions even from their phones. Bitcoin too is another step forward when it comes to the evolution of our financial systems. The first bitcoin ATM opened in Canada in 2013 as you can see in this video:
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