back to article 50th anniversary of the ATM opens debate about mobile payments

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Automated Teller Machine (ATM), the first of which was installed outside Barclays Bank, Enfield Town in north London. Actor Reg Varney from '70s sitcom On the Buses was the first to use the cash machine. Fast forward half a century and cash machines have become a familiar high street …

  1. Neil 32
    Headmaster

    Para 3... "deposit checks"

    What's a check!? Damned Yank-isms!

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Para 3... "depisit checks"

    What's a check!? Damned Yank-isms!

    What's a depisit?

  3. Neil 32

    I don't know what you mean!

    *whistles innocently while polishing fingerprints from the "Edit" button*

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "What's a check!? Damned Yank-isms!"

    Never mind American checks ... what about "ATM" ... its meant to be a "cash dispenser" over here

  5. TRT Silver badge

    "cash dispenser"???

    Hole in'th' wall.

  6. CraPo

    "Cashpoint"

    Was introduced by Lloyds in 1972 and trademarked in 1986

  7. LDS Silver badge
    Joke

    Here in Italy we call them "bancomat", while ATM is the public transport company of Milano - thus, if you're in this city and you ask for an ATM machine, you could be driven to a metro/bus ticket dispenser...

  8. TechnicalBen Silver badge
    Pint

    Re: "cash dispenser"???

    They just closed the local "Hole in the Wall" around here... though I don't think I ever had a drink in there (or maybe just the one... it's hard to remember).

  9. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
    Headmaster

    thus, if you're in this city and you ask for an ATM machine, you could be driven to a metro/bus ticket dispenser...

    Possibly the only time it is appropriate to ask for an ATM machine. Cheers to the Milanese for getting that right.

  10. Tikimon Silver badge
    Headmaster

    ATM = Automated Teller Machine

    I always cringe when I hear people refer to "the ATM machine."

  11. The other JJ

    Re: ATM = Automated Teller Machine

    And if they refer to "Putting their PIN number into the ATM machine"?

  12. Daniel B.
    Joke

    Well...

    Every time I read "cheque" in an English article, I'm wondering if Spanish is really taking over the language...

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Without cash how do you do a cash in the back pocket deal? Asked out of sheer curiosity of course.

  14. SkippyBing Silver badge

    Lend me £50 and I'll show you...

  15. Michael Kean

    Just grab the cryptocurrency of your choice :)

  16. SkippyBing Silver badge

    Reg Varney from '70s sitcom On the Buses

    Why was someone from a sitcom in the future showing off the first Cash Machine in 1967?

  17. TRT Silver badge

    Re: Reg Varney from '70s sitcom On the Buses

    He was in 'The Rag Trade' before that. And "The Great St. Trinian's Train Robbery". And something called "Beggar my Neighbour". But most people know him as Butler from "On The Buses". I believe he lived in Enfield at the time - handy for the studios up at Borehamwood.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Extinct in ten years?

    "It’s unlikely the ATM [will reach] its 60th anniversary, and with 44 per cent of us stating that we rarely use them to remove cash from our accounts any more, it will not be long until ATMs are consigned to the history books," Black said.

    It's possible, but only when cash is completely extinct, because people need to get it from somewhere. The sandwich van and food stalls where I buy my lunch could easily get some sort of card payment solution, but the fact that they haven't, despite the hassle of handling cash, implies to me that it would probably cost them some significant amount of their profits. Many of that type of smallest business, charities etc still use cash as their only option. What kind of digital payment can you slip into a stripper's garter belt? I think cash will be around for a while yet, and cash machines with it.

  19. Khaptain Silver badge

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    Depending upon the service provider, number of transactions etc it's usually between 3% - 6%, plus the cost of any setups and the actual machines....

    Not a huge number but it definitely has an impact on profit..

    On top of that all transactions are recorded, "cough, cough", which the tax man loves but the vendor might not ...

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    Re: Stripper - Shirley, you just swipe the card in the slot...

  22. drdr6

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    The really scary thing here that all the card lovers seem to completely ignore is that once there is no cash, then governments and banks can impose negative interest rates, because you won't be able to go to the bank and pull out your cash.

  23. Rimpel
    Joke

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    To pay a stripper you must use contactless, that's the rule in a strip club...

  24. TRT Silver badge

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    Where do you swipe it?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    "Probably the ~2.5+% fee that credit card companies charge for the privilege of being able to use their payment system"

    More probably it's the 20% income tax they'd have to pay to get the money on their books officially.

  26. tony72

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    You could still hold gold, or bitcoin. Both gold and bitcoin ATMs actually exist, so maybe that's the future for ATMs if cash goes extinct.

  27. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    "it would probably cost them some significant amount of their profits."

    According to the guy at our local corner shop, he has to buy the machine, pay to be allowed to use it and pay for a service contract which is supposed to a 24 service call out but they rarely arrive in less than 5 days, meanwhile he's losing sales. If he doesn't have the machine, he loses sales. This is all on top of the commission he's charged on every sale and the up front cost to be certified to be allowed to give them all his money.

  28. G Mac
    Unhappy

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    In the US it is a law (put through by the credit card industry via bribes to politicians) that a merchant cannot discount payments made in cash. So its cash only or everything is the same price no matter the payment method.

    Apparently it was 'designed' to encourage use of credit cards. I will believe the hype of a cashless society when they remove that restriction so folks can choose the method of payment based on the transaction fee.

    No doubt some will say there is a cost for maintaining a cash float by the merchant - fine by me if that cost gets passed through. Want I don't want is opaque fees that I cannot compare.

    And you can bet your sweet bippy that when no choice is to be had (aka cashless) those fees will only go up.

  29. ridley

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    2.5% Transaction fees has a huge impact on low margin businesses, say PC components.

    Remember the 2.5% is on the transaction cost ie inc VAT so in effect you have to allow for a 3% loss in gross margin for plastic transactions.

  30. Super Fast Jellyfish

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    Like the cheque book was meant to die out about 5 years ago...

    I smell a consultancy rat with that timeline

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oliver Jones

    Insurance is partially a hedged thing, so "mandatory" may cause you to have to give a policy to an expensive customer. Where as previously, you just showed the door to them (we did this in one place I worked, "creatively" with pricing, we only wanted the "cheap", that is easy and low claim customers).

    However, the point does still stand for monopolies. And in my case again, they did not quite have a monopoly but did just rise prices "because everyone else is".

  32. Donn Bly

    Re: merchant cannot discount payments made in cash

    Actually those laws, and the restrictions, changed years ago. As of January 27, 2013 US businesses were allowed to charge up to 4% more for credit card transactions than cash, provided that they have clear signage about the policy.

    Many businesses in highly competitive, low margin trades such as Gas Stations (Petrol for the rest of you on the other side of the pond) have separate prices for cash and credit.

    When you only have a 5% margin, 3% in card fees amounts to 60% of the profit!

  33. Lamont Cranston

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    During my A-levels, I learned that Mondex would soon render cash obsolete. I don't think it'll ever go entirely, we'll just have more payment options available.

  34. nijam Silver badge

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    > ...charities etc still use cash

    It's almost impossible to give charities cash - they want you to sign up for monthly direct debits.

  35. G Mac
    Thumb Up

    Re: merchant cannot discount payments made in cash

    Ah that is interesting I missed that thanks.

    Looking at the rules for Visa though it is not across the board:

    * Applies only to credit cards, not debit or pre-paid cards;

    * 10 states restrict the surcharge, including some big ones (CA, NY, FL, MA, TX). Since I have lived in NY and CA no wonder I missed this!

    * Merchant can only surcharge up to the acceptance rate of the card up to 4%. The rate varies according to card present, type of business, signature required etc. At least for Visa it seems they want the highest rate applied across competing networks to be applied.

    https://usa.visa.com/dam/VCOM/download/merchants/surcharging-faq-by-merchants.pdf

    https://usa.visa.com/dam/VCOM/download/merchants/merchant-category-definitions-credit-card-cost-to-acquirers.pdf

    https://usa.visa.com/dam/VCOM/download/merchants/surcharge-considerations-and-requirements.pdf

    In the end the merchant still cannot discount cash transactions at a rate the merchant chooses. In addition, I would like the transaction fee for *all* transactions to be available.

    Question for US folks not in a restricted state - does the surcharge get displayed BEFORE you OK the transaction?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    "many Brits believe that within the next 10 years the country will be entirely cashless due the influx of alternative payment methods"

    people forget that the cash in your wallet never suffers from connectivity issues, is largely immune to getting soaking wet and never goes flat.

    I personally find it a lot easier to budget my week from a fixed amount of cash in my wallet, than trying to remember what the number in my internet bank account is (looking it up on the go is a pain in the ass, even with the best of apps).

  37. chuckm
    Go

    Re: Extinct in ten years?

    Yeah, but since the US also has state and local taxes, invisible transactions can't incur them.

    Anyway the black economy needs cash so if governments try to wish it away, something else will replace it. And the black economy has existed as long as civilisation. It isn't going anywhere because those in power need is as much as or more than anyone else.

  38. druck

    Autobank

    The Midland Bank before it became part of HSBC used to call it an "Autobank". We more commonly call it a cash machine, ATM is very American.

  39. Robert Moore
    Coat

    Re: Autobank

    ATM is very American.

    I thin you will find most Americans call it an ATM Machine.

  40. TRT Silver badge

    Re: I think you will find...

    most Americans call IT an ATM Machine.

    TFTFY. ;)

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cash rules.

    Has anyone ever read the report on what data on you that the likes of Facebook correlates in a few milliseconds once you sign on? It is staggering and in some places it includes all your recent Credit Card purchases. All so it can target ads at you. Google does the same.

    Other companies are doing this but to lesser extents.

    Using cash does not leave a trail especially for small transactions where you pay in coins. Even tracking small denomination notes is almost impossible especially if you get them in change from a previous transaction.

    I don't want 'the man' (or any commercial company) to know everthing about me, where I go, what I buy etc etc. I don't have anything to hide but my privacy.

    I get most of my cash from ATM's every couple of weeks. £200 does me quite nicely.

    Oh, and I hate all forms of advertising. It is the work of the devil and I spent 2 years working in the industry.

  42. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
    Devil

    Re: Cash rules.

    "It is the work of the devil and I spent 2 years working in the industry."

    You little devil.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Cash rules.

    "Has anyone ever read the report on what data on you that the likes of Facebook correlates in a few milliseconds once you sign on?"

    I only sign on to the likes of Facebook on a PC that is not used to buy anything. Even my BBC sign on that is now mandatory for iPlayer is only used on a different browser on my normal PC.

  44. LDS Silver badge

    "it includes all your recent Credit Card purchases"

    Only in countries were it is allowed to buy and access those data. In others, it can't, because nor banks nor credit card companies can't sell those data.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Research by global payment outfit PPRO Group suggests many Brits believe that within the next 10 years the country will be entirely cashless due the influx of alternative payment methods."

    Not while I'm still alive thank you

    I can't see the Scouts, Sea Cadets, schools, and the myriad of other small good causes setting up for contactless payments on their fund raising stalls at various Summer Fetes. Possibly someone will suggest tokens in various denominations that you can buy from a machine with your card - like £1, 50p, 20p etc.

  46. pdh

    > Possibly someone will suggest tokens in various denominations that you can buy from a machine with your card - like £1, 50p, 20p etc.

    Those tokens already exist; they are referred to as "money"

  47. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Those tokens already exist; they are referred to as "money""

    Whoosh!

  48. mhoulden

    Searching for PPRO Group brings up this as the description for the top link: "PPRO is a full-service partner for PSPs and payment providers in the e-payment environment as well as an e-money specialist for corporates and consumers." They also issue a lot of press releases saying how their products will replace cash, including the one quoted in this article.

  49. Roopee

    Must be a Millennial

    Cashless in 10 years? That's the sort of prediction a naive, sheltered millennial might make. Here in the real world there is still a significant minority of people who do everything in cash, and an even bigger minority who use cheques but don't, and probably never will, use online banking. Quite a few of them are my clients. They won't all have died off in 10 years, I'm glad to say.

    I personally use cash for most of my physical shopping (petrol, supermarkets etc) - if I didn't I'd have to pay the crooks called bankers just to give them my cash for them to make money with. My business bank doesn't pay interest on balances under 1/4 million so no incentive there.

    Even if all my clients paid direct, I'd still use cash if only to reduce my data footprint, but I'd have to start going to cash machines to get it instead.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Must be a Millennial

    IIRC the Aviva insurance company stopped accepting cheques for renewal premiums several years ago. You have to use a debit or credit card by phone or online. For a credit card they charge an additional 0.5% fee.

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