Post written by David Dennis, Legal Counsel
They haunt the urban landscape like relics of a bygone era, metallic monuments to a time when paper money mattered. Clunky and old-school, by all rights, the ATM should have faded from the urban tapestry as quickly, and as quietly, as the payphone, falling victim to the domination of new payment technologies.
Yet they endure.
Perhaps cash isn’t as obsolete as we think. Perhaps we still crave that oddly comforting whirring, whistling, flip-flip-flip “here comes the money” sound of the ATM. Whatever the reason for its continued durability, there’s no denying that this now humble machine was once a veritable “rock star,” the tantalizing new wave of modern banking convenience.
John Shepherd-Brown was in a hurry. It was a Saturday afternoon and the engineer for a British printing company needed money for the rest of the weekend. To his dismay, he arrived at his bank just as the doors were being locked for the day. He returned home cashless, and later, while he soaked in the bath, he lamented that cash should be more accessible—this was 1965, and if vending machines could dispense chocolate bars (a recent innovation), he mused, why couldn’t they dispense cash? Read more