An automated teller machine (ATM), also known as automatic banking machine (ABM), Cash Machine, or Cashpoint, is a computerised telecommunications device that provides the clients of a financial institution with access to financial transactions in a public space without the need for a cashier, human clerk or bank teller. On most modern ATMs, the customer is identified by inserting a plastic ATM card with a magnetic stripe or a plastic smart card with a chip, that contains a unique card number and some security information such as an expiration date or CVVC (CVV). Authentication is provided by the customer entering a personal identification number (PIN).
Using an ATM, customers can access their bank accounts in order to make cash withdrawals, credit card cash advances, and check their account balances as well as purchase prepaid cellphone credit. If the currency being withdrawn from the ATM is different from that which the bank account is denominated in (e.g.: Withdrawing Japanese Yen from a bank account containing US Dollars), the money will be converted at a wholesale exchange rate. Thus, ATMs often provide the best possible exchange rate for foreign travelers and are heavily used for this purpose as well.
ATMs are known by various other names including Automated Transaction Machine, automated banking machine, cashpoint (in Britain), money machine, bank machine, cash machine, hole-in-the-wall, Bancomat (in various countries in Europe and Russia), Multibanco (after a registered trade mark, in Portugal), and All Time Money in India.
The idea of self-service in retail banking developed through independent and simultaneous efforts in Japan, Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom. In the USA, Luther George Simjian has been credited with developing and building the first cash dispenser machine.There is strong evidence to suggest that Simjian worked on this device before 1959 while his 132nd patent (US3079603) was first filed on 30 June 1960 (and granted 26 February 1963). The rollout of this machine, called Bankograph, was delayed a couple of years. This was due in part to Simjian's company, Reflectone Electronics Inc., being acquired by Universal Match Corporation. An experimental Bankograph was installed in New York City in 1961 by the City Bank of New York, but removed after 6 months due to the lack of customer acceptance. The Bankograph was an automated envelope deposit machine (accepting coins, cash and cheques) and it did not have cash dispensing features. The Bankograph embodied the preoccupation by US banks in finding alternative means to capture core deposits, while the concern of European and Asian banks was cash distribution. Thus the Bankograph was NOT the first cash dispenser machine, as it did not dispense cash.
A cash dispensing device was first used in Tokyo in 1966. Although little is known of this first device, it seems to have been activated with a credit card rather than accessing current account balances. Thus it is not a true Automated Teller Machine. This technology had no immediate consequence in the international market.
In simultaneous and independent efforts, engineers in Sweden and Britain developed their own cash machines during the early 1960s. The first of these that was put into use was by Barclays Bank in Enfield Town in North London, United Kingdom, on 27 June 1967. This machine was the first in the UK and was used by English comedy actor Reg Varney, so as to ensure maximum publicity for the machines that were to become mainstream in the UK. This instance of the invention has been credited to John Shepherd-Barron, while disregarding other engineers at De La Rue Instruments who contributed to the design and development of that machine. Nevertheless, Shepherd-Barron was awarded an OBE in the 2005 New Year's Honours List.His design used special checks that were matched with a personal identification number, as plastic bank cards had not yet been invented.
The Barclays-De La Rue machine (called De La Rue Automatic Cash System or DACS) beat the Swedish saving banks’ and a company called Metior's (a device called Bankomat) by nine days and Westminster Bank’s-Smith Industries-Chubb system (called Chubb MD2) by a month. The collaboration of a small start-up called Speytec and Midland Bank developed a third machine which was marketed after 1969 in Europe and the USA by the Burroughs Corporation. The patent for this device (GB1329964) was filed on September 1969 (and granted in 1973) by John David Edwards, Leonard Perkins, John Henry Donald, Peter Lee Chappell, Sean Benjamin Newcombe & Malcom David Roe.
Both the DACS and MD2 accepted only a single-use token or voucher which was retained by the machine while the Speytec worked with a card with a magnetic stripe at the back. Hence all this these worked on various principles including Carbon-14 and low-coercivity magnetism in order to make fraud more difficult. The idea of a PIN stored on the card was developed by a British engineer working in the MD2 named James Goodfellow in 1965 (patent GB1197183 filed on 2 May 2, 1966 with Anthony Davies). The essence of this system was that is it enabled the verification of the customer with the debited account without human intervention. This patent is also the earliest instance of a complete “currency dispenser system” in the patent record. This patent was filled on 5 March 1968 in the USA (US 3543904) and granted on 1 December 1970. It had a profound influence on the industry as a whole. Not only did future entrants into the cash dispenser market such as NCR Corporation and IBM licence Goodfellow’s PIN system, but a number of later patents references this patent as “Prior Art Device”.
After looking first hand at the experiences in Europe, in 1968 the networked ATM was pioneered in Dallas, Texas, by Donald Wetzel who was a department head at an automated baggage-handling company called Docutel. In 1995, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History recognised Docutel and Wetzel as the inventors of the networked ATM.
ATMs first came into use in December 1972 in the UK; the IBM 2984 was designed at the request of Lloyds Bank. The 2984 CIT (Cash Issuing Terminal) was the first true Cashpoint, similar in function to today's machines; Cashpoint is still a registered trademark of Lloyds TSB in the UK. All were online and issued a variable amount which was immediately deducted from the account. A small number of 2984s were supplied to a US bank. Notable historical models of ATMs include the IBM 3624 and 473x series, Diebold 10xx and TABS 9000 series, and NCR 50xx series.
ATMs are placed not only near or inside the premises of banks, but also in locations such as shopping centers/malls, airports, grocery stores, petrol/gas stations, restaurants, or any place large numbers of people may gather. These represent two types of ATM installations: on and off premise. On premise ATMs are typically more advanced, multi-function machines that complement an actual bank branch's capabilities and thus more expensive. Off premise machines are deployed by financial institutions and also ISOs (or Independent Sales Organizations) where there is usually just a straight need for cash, so they typically are the cheaper mono-function devices. In Canada, when an ATM is not operated by a financial institution it is known as a "White Label ATM".In North America, banks often have drive-thru lanes providing access to ATMs.
Many ATMs have a sign above them indicating the name of the bank or organization owning the ATM, and possibly including the list of ATM networks to which that machine is connected. This type of sign is called a topper.
Most ATMs are connected to interbank networks, enabling people to withdraw and deposit money from machines not belonging to the bank where they have their account or in the country where their accounts are held (enabling cash withdrawals in local currency). Some examples of interbank networks include PULSE, PLUS, Cirrus, Interac, Interswitch, STAR, and LINK.
ATMs rely on authorization of a financial transaction by the card issuer or other authorizing institution via the communications network. This is often performed through an ISO 8583 messaging system.
Many banks charge ATM usage fees. In some cases, these fees are charged solely to users who are not customers of the bank where the ATM is installed; in other cases, they apply to all users.
In order to allow a more diverse range of devices to attach to their networks, some interbank networks have passed rules expanding the definition of an ATM to be a terminal that either has the vault within its footprint or utilizes the vault or cash drawer within the merchant establishment, which allows for the use of a scrip cash dispenser.
ATMs typically connect directly to their host or ATM Controller via either ADSL or dial-up modem over a telephone line or directly via a leased line. Leased lines are preferable to POTS lines because they require less time to establish a connection. Leased lines may be comparatively expensive to operate versus a POTS line, meaning less-trafficked machines will usually rely on a dial-up modem. That dilemma may be solved as high-speed Internet VPN connections become more ubiquitous. Common lower-level layer communication protocols used by ATMs to communicate back to the bank include SNA over SDLC, TC500 over Async, X.25, and TCP/IP over Ethernet.
In addition to methods employed for transaction security and secrecy, all communications traffic between the ATM and the Transaction Processor may also be encrypted via methods such as SSL.