The decades that followed the introduction of the ATM transformed this new form of banking. In the U.S., Dallas-based engineer Donald Wetzel pioneered the development and deployment of the ATM, with the first being installed at the Chemical Bank branch in Rockville Center, New York, in September 1969.
And ATM popularity continued to grow around the world. In the early 1970s, with 1,000 ATMs installed by the end of 1971, FIs understood the convenience it brought to their customers—and they invested accordingly.
In 1977, Citibank put more than $100 million into the installation of ATMs across New York City. People thought it was a gamble at the time, but when a blizzard hit the city, banks were forced to close for days and ATM use rose by 20 percent—so, it certainly paid off.
It was in that same year that NCR, a leader in innovative transaction technologies and computing, launched its first ATM, the NCR model 770. It came just three years after NCR changed its name from National Cash Register to NCR Corporation. The easy-to-operate self-contained 770 unit included a terminal, controller, cash dispenser and depository, all within one safe. By the early 1980s, NCR had launched the 5070 ATM. Developed in Dundee, Scotland, it achieved global success through new standards of excellence including reliability, flexibility and increased capability.
And the name checks out: The 5070 could handle 5,000 transactions before needing to be restocked. It featured modular components that could be snapped in and out very quickly to minimize maintenance. It was also based on completely new software and an electronics platform enabling connections to worldwide networks.
In addition to NCR ATMs, other ATM inventions were growing at a quick rate. By 1984, there were 100,000 ATMs installed globally. And, the growth since then has been huge—both in the amount of installed ATMs and what they can do for banking customers. There are now more than three million ATMs around the world and most countries see growth in ATMs, according to the latest research from RBR.
Once the ATM became an established and familiar part of the banking system, the next frontier of innovation was usability. In the 1980s, NCR played a big part in driving the channel forward with the introduction of color displays and FDK buttons. In 1989, the world’s first intelligent deposit ATM was installed. By 1992, functionality such as thermal receipt printers, audio input and signature capture were becoming common.