Main content

Going for Gold - Barclays celebrates 50th anniversary of world's first ATM

  • Barclays celebrates the “golden” anniversary of the world’s first ATM, installed at Enfield branch on 27th June 1967
  • To mark the occasion, the modern-day ATM will be transformed into gold
  • £175 Billion was withdrawn from UK’s 70,000 cash machines in 2016  

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the world’s first ATM, originally unveiled by Barclays at its Enfield branch on 27th June 1967.

The invention of the ATM was a historical moment that completely changed the way the world thought about and used cash. As a fitting tribute to this golden anniversary, Barclays has transformed the modern-day Enfield cash machine into gold.

The original ATM was the brainchild of John Shepherd-Barron, who Barclays commissioned to create six cash dispensers – the first of which was installed at Enfield. The actor Reg Varney, of the ITV sitcom On the Buses, was the star of the opening and the first person to use the brand-new invention.

Since 27th June 1967, technology has completely transformed the way people manage their finances, with online and mobile banking fast-becoming the most popular methods for everyday transactions.

Despite this, the ATM continues to thrive 50 years on – in fact, in December 2016 the UK record for most cash withdrawn in a day was broken, as Christmas shoppers withdrew £730 million1.

The UK – and a British bank – were at the very heart of this. June 2017 also marks 30 years since Barclays introduced the debit card (3rd June 1987) – another first for UK banking.

Raheel Ahmed, Head of Customer Experience and Channels at Barclays commented: “Even though recent years have seen a huge uptake of digital banking and card payments, cash remains a crucial part of most people’s day-to-day lives – whether it’s paying for groceries or doing the office coffee run – and we’re very proud of the role that Barclays has played in the history of the cash machine.

From launching the world’s first ATM back in 1967, to becoming the first UK bank to offer contactless and mobile cash withdrawals in 2016, Barclays has always been at the forefront of innovation, committed to making life easier for our customers by saving them time on their everyday banking needs.”

A local unveiling event will take place at the Barclays Enfield branch on Tuesday 27th June, from 11.30 AM.  

Notes to editors

1 ATM Industry Association, 2016 usage statistics



  • There are 70,000 ATMs in the UK
  • Barclays have invested significantly in our ATM network over the past 12 months, upgrading more than 3,000 devices.
  • Each UK ATM delivers on average £2.5 Million a year into the community in which it is located, helping to stimulate vibrant local economies
  • Today, 92% of all £10 notes in circulation are acquired through ATMs.
  • The first 'drive-thru' cash machine in the UK was opened on 22 May 1998 at Hatton Cross, near Heathrow Airport by Cheryl Baker, TV presenter.
  • The idea of a cash machine was first thought up by Turkish born inventor Luther George Simjian in 1939, but it never got off the ground.
  • The world’s most northerly ATM is at Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway.
  • The most southerly at the McMurdo station at the South Pole.
  • China did not install their first ATM until 1987.
  • The Vatican City is home to the world's only ATM that can give instructions in Latin.


  • Barclays launched the UK’s first contactless and mobile cash withdrawal service – offering customers a quicker, more secure way to withdraw their money
  •  Customers can withdraw up to £100 in-branch, with just a tap of their Android smartphone or contactless debit card


Carol Greygoose worked at the Barclays Enfield branch in 1967 and remembers clearly when the ATM was first installed: “I was only 18 at the time and had been working at the branch for two years. It was a really big deal and we were so excited that Enfield had been chosen. I remember meeting Reg Varney too – he was a bit cheeky!


The bank was only open until 3.30pm at that time (and Saturday mornings) so when the ATM was introduced, customers could get cash outside of banking hours, which must have made a big difference to people's lives.”

About Barclays

Barclays is a transatlantic consumer, corporate and investment bank offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management, with a strong presence in our two home markets of the UK and the US.

With over 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 40 countries and employs approximately 120,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

For further information about Barclays, please visit our website .