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Last Updated: Friday, 31 December, 2004, 05:21 GMT
ATM inventor honoured 40 years on
John Shepherd-Barron
John Shepherd-Barron: "Better late than never."
The Scot credited with inventing the automated cash machine has been awarded an OBE - 40 years on.

John Shepherd-Barron, 79, from Tain in Ross-shire, said the accolade was "better late than never".

He came up with the idea of the auto-teller in the early 1960s after becoming frustrated at not being able to access his own money at weekends.

He installed the world's first ATM at a branch of Barclays Bank in Enfield, North London, in 1967.

At the time he was managing director of De La Rue Instruments.

Chemically coded

The De La Rue Automatic Cash System took in cheques impregnated with Carbon 14, which were bought in advance from a bank teller, and exchanged them for cash.

Each cheque was chemically coded to identify between customers so money could be taken from the correct bank account.

Mr Shepherd-Barron went on to supervise the installation of the machines in Switzerland, Philadelphia and Japan.

Person using an ATM machine
Cash machines are now used across the world
There are now an estimated 800,000 cash machines across the world, and De La Rue still produces about one in every five.

Mr Shepherd-Barron becomes an OBE for services to banking.

He said: "It was a bit late, but better late then never.

"It is very nice to have it, but it has taken about 40 years."

He said that despite some complaints from the US, the Guinness Book of Inventions had recognised him as the inventor of the ATM.

"The thing that I have done obviously became an important feature of international banking," he added.

"It has everyone in the world working in the same way."


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Cash machine inventor John Shepherd-Barron



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