Friday, May 21, 2010

Father of ATM, born in India, passes away at 84

London: India-born Scot John Shepherd- Barron, the man who invented the automated teller machine (ATM), has died after a short illness, aged 84. He is survived by his wife, three sons and six grandkids.

Barron, who had been living in Portmahomack in Rossshire, died peacefully at Inverness’s Raigmore Hospital in northern Scotland on Saturday, funeral director Alasdair Rhind told the media.
The businessman, who worked for the printing firm De La Rue Instruments at the time, came up with the concept of a self-service cash dispenser in 1965 while lying in a bath after getting to his bank too late to withdraw money.
Shepherd-Barron’s “eureka” moment was inspired by a machine dispensing chocolate bars and he later sold his concept to an executive at Britain’s Barclays Bank over a pink gin.
“It struck me there must be a way I could get my own money, anywhere in the world or the UK. I hit upon the idea of a chocolate bar dispenser, but replacing chocolate with cash,” Barron had said. The first ATM was installed at a bank in London in 1967. And, Reg Varney, one of the stars of popular TV show ‘On the Buses’, became the first person to withdraw cash.
The first ATM was operated by inserting a special cheque that was matched against a PIN number, and paved the way for machines using plastic cards. There are now nearly two million machines worldwide

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