1960 ATM predecessor installed: New York's First National City Bank (now CitiBank) installs a Bankograph in several branch lobbies. The idea is for customers to pay utility bills and get receipts without having to see a teller.

1967 First cash dispenser installation: The first cash dispenser, made by De La Rue Instruments, makes its debut in a Barclays Bank branch near London. It uses paper vouchers bought from tellers. The machine is called the De La Rue Automatic Cash System, or DACS.

(According to the article written by Invention & Technology’s Mike Lee, John Shepherd-Barron -- the cash dispenser inventor, claims that the paper vouchers are actually checks impregnated with Carbon 14.)

1968 Card-eating: Barclays and a few other banks introduce a machine that encodes cash on plastic cards purchased from a teller. The problem is that the machine always eats the cards, and customers have to buy new cards if they want to make more transactions.

atm Diebold's early ATM, called a TABS machine.

1969 First use of ATM magstripe cards: Docutel installs its Docuteller machine at New York's Chemical Bank. The installation marks the first use of magnetically encoded plastic.

Chemical Bank's ad campaign announces: "On Sept. 2, our bank will open at 9:00 and never close again!"

Other manufacturers get into the game, but Docutel is the first to apply for a patent. Docutel is later credited by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History as being the ATM’s inventor. But most people in the industry recognize Docutel’s first machine as the first modern magstripe machine.

Donald C. Wetzel is given credit for developing the Docutel machine, which is initially met with resistance from bankers. Bankers say they’re concerned about the machine’s cost, which is about $8,000 more annually than a human teller. The bankers also fear that customers won’t like having a machine handling their money.

1971 First true bank ATMs: Docutel introduces its Total Teller, the first true fully functioning bank ATM.

1973 Proliferation begins: By 1973, 2,000 ATMs mostly from Docutel- are operating in the United States. They sell for about $30,000 each.

Diebold begins work on the development of its TABS 600 with plans for an off-line prototype.

1974 Diebold’s first TABS 500 machine, an off-line version, is installed at a bank in Atlanta. Diebold develops the TABS 550, an on-line and off-line version. The flexibility of the machine makes it unique and more marketable to banks.

The TABS 600 also is developed.

1978 The first IBM-compatible Diebold machine is installed at a bank in Indianapolis.

1990 The number of units nationally from approximately 110,000 in 1996 to nearly 230,000 by the end of the century, now, the number is approaching 500,000 with over 80% belonging to the private sector.  The ATM Industry Association states there will be 1,000,000 ATMs in the U.S., by 2020. 


Note: This timeline was compiled through a number of sources and contradictory information may exist.