Who invented the ATM? Part 1


The stand alone walk up ATM, and the Brief history of surcharges:


2004 was the tenth anniversary of the compact stand up ATM. In June, 1994, Triton installed a 9500 model ATM in a convenience store.

It was located in Diamondhead, Mississippi and was the first bill dispensing ATM designed for use in retail locations.
ATMs had already been around for about twenty-five years or so. In that amount of time there were 100,000 ATMs installed and operating in the US. These however were owned and operated by banks and credit unions. In 1996, change occurred that led to the formation of ATMmachine.com in 1998. Cirrus, the network of MasterCard, and Plus, the network of Visa, both lifted their bans on ATM surcharges.
Now anyone with a retail location could own and operate an ATM, and be compensated for their time, trouble and expenses.

For a while there was political opposition to surcharging. A few states and cities passed laws against collecting surcharges. These laws were struck down by the courts in a very short time. Next the government decided to let the people decide. You can either choose to use the ATM or you can choose not to use the ATM. It is clear today that most people have chosen to use an ATM. But the government may be trying to get back into the picture by recently introducing legislation to curb debit card fees.

Another factor that led to the formation of ATMmachine.com was cost. Up until 1994, ATMs were too expensive to place just anywhere. Too expensive to buy, and too expensive to operate. $50,000 was a low figure for an ATM and they had to be connected to leased phone lines. You couldn't just use an ordinary phone line like today. To be cost efficient, the machine had to do hundreds of transactions each month.
When the Triton 9500 came out, it sold for around $10,000, and it operated on a simple dial up phone line.
Since the costs were reduced to a fraction of what they were, retail locations could operate an ATM with as little as 300 transactions per month. Even this figure has dropped today to about 200. Now ATM's are found in most convenience stores, and many other types of locations, even churches!

With a change in the surcharge laws, and the popularity of the convenience modeled ATM, competition took over. Just as the revolution of the PC home computer started the formation of the various computer manufacturers we have today, so has the ATM revolution started the formation of the different ATM brands being sold. Brands such as Hantle, Nautilus Hyosung, and Genmega, NCR and Triton.

After the change in laws, and attitudes, of retail ATM machines in 1996, we saw where the future was heading.
In 1998, just as the ATM revolution was underway, we formed ATMmachine.com. Some of the brands of ATM's we sell today were not even around then. Some they don't make anymore. But ATMmachine.com and ATMinventor.com are still here, going strong, and always looking towards the future.