The World’s first cash machine turns 50 today


The world’s first “hole in the wall” was unveiled at Barclays bank in Enfield, north London, on June 27 1967.

As a tribute to the golden anniversary, Barclays has transformed the modern-day ATM into gold.


Credit to John Shepard-Baron for this invention that still lives on. Actor Reg Varney was the star at the opening and the first to use the ATM.

first man to use an atm.jpg
Actor Reg Varney was the first star to use the ATM

But it was a slightly different experience to how we withdraw cash today.

There were actually quite a few steps to getting your hands on your own money:

  • Back then, customers could withdraw £10 in cash as a special voucher
  • This was then processed as a cheque and the money taken from the customer’s account
  • The customer would then sign the voucher and place it in the ATM drawer where it was tested for authenticity
  • An illuminated panel would then ask the customer to input their personal six-figure code
  • The machine checked the code and if everything was in order the machine would then dispense the £10 in cash from another drawer
  • The vouchers issued were valid for six months

This month also marked 30 years since Barclays introduced the debit card to the UK, on June 3 1987.

Jeremy Light, managing director of payments at technology services company Accenture, said, “The ATMs of today are changing with the times to keep up with customers’ needs and likewise as it takes on a new role to complement online banking”.

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