LeoGlossary: Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

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A machine which a user activates by a magnetically encoded card that process transactions with the bank. It allows for financial institutions of this nature to handle the transactions without the use of personnel. This also opens up the availability of banking activity to non-banking hours.

They include:

Some are owned by the banks while others are with third parties.

ATMs can go by a number of names:

  • Automated Tell Machine (US)
  • Automated Bank Machine (CANADA)
  • Cashpoint or Cash Machine (UK)


In 1960 Luther George Simjian invented an automated deposit machine (accepting coins, cash and cheques) although it did not have cash dispensing features. His US patent was first filed on 30 June 1960 and granted on 26 February 1963. The roll-out of this machine, called Bankograph, was delayed by a couple of years, due in part to Simjian's Reflectone Electronics Inc. being acquired by Universal Match Corporation. An experimental Bankograph was installed in New York City in 1961 by the City Bank of New York, but removed after six months due to the lack of customer acceptance.

Over the decades, the use of ATMs has expanded. Estimates are there are 3 million of these devices around the world.


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