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Golden cash machine marks ATM birthday.

A woman uses a smart phone to take a photograph of a gold coloured automated teller machine installed at a branch of British bank Barclays, in Enfield.

The automated teller machine (ATM) yesterday marked its 50th anniversary, with a British bank decorating the site of the world's first cashpoint in gold to mark the occasion. The first ATM was unveiled by Barclays at their Enfield branch in north London on June 27, 1967. "The invention of the ATM was a historical moment that completely changed the way the world thought about and used cash," Barclays said. The original cash machine was the brainchild of John Shepherd-Barron, who was commissioned by the bank to create six cash dispensers. They were based on vending machines. Customers could access their money outside of banking hours - a mini-revolution on the high street. The first person to use the inaugural ATM was actor Reg Varney, the star of a popular British TV comedy called "On The Buses", brought in to show how easy it was to use. The Barclays cashpoint in Enfield has been given a gold makeover, and a roped-off red carpet approach to celebrate the anniversary. A black-and-white picture of Varney using the ATM stands above it, while a commemorative gold plaque has been placed on the bank wall. There now are an estimated 3mn plus cash machines on the planet. The world's most southerly ATM is at the McMurdo Station research base on Antarctica, while the highest is at 4,693m in Pakistan's Khunjerab Pass near the Chinese border. There is an ATM inside the Forbidden City in Beijing, mobile ATMs on trucks, one on a golf buggy in the US state of Georgia and one in a Dubai hotel that dispenses gold bars. Though other technologies such as mobile and online banking have come into play, the number of cash machines is expected to grow, with China and India driving the expansion.

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Jun 27, 2017
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