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The cash machine turns 50 today - and world's first was in the UK

Today marks the 50th anniversary since the first cash machine appeared.

The world's first "hole in the wall" was unveiled at Barclays bank in Enfield, north London, on June 27 1967.

As a tribute to the golden anniversary, Barclays has transformed the modern-day ATM into gold.

Barclays has turned the original 'hole in the wall' gold to mark the anniversary. Credit: PA

The invention was the brainchild of John Shepherd-Baron, who Barclays commissioned to create six cash dispensers.

On the Buses TV sitcom actor Reg Varney was the star of the opening and the first person to use the state-of-the-art invention.

Actor Reg Varney was the first person to ever use a cash machine. Credit: PA Archive

But it was a slightly different experience to how we withdraw cash today.

There were actually quite a few steps to getting your hands on your own money:

  • Back then, customers could withdraw £10 in cash as a special voucher
  • This was then processed as a cheque and the money taken from the customer's account
  • The customer would then sign the voucher and place it in the ATM drawer where it was tested for authenicity
  • An illuminated panel would then ask the customer to input their personal six-figure code
  • The machine checked the code and if everything was in order the machine would then dispense the £10 in cash from another drawer
  • The vouchers issued were valid for six months
ATMs look a little different now.

The ATM - or Automated Teller Machine - completely changed the way the world thought about and used cash.

Despite the rise in other new technologies such as online and mobile banking, the ATM remains popular 50 years on.

The UK record for the most cash withdrawn in a day was broken as recently as December last year as Christmas shoppers withdrew £730 million, according to industry figures.

People scramble to get a look at the world's first ATM. Credit: PA Archive

This month also marked 30 years since Barclays introduced the debit card to the UK, on June 3 1987.

Jeremy Light, managing director of payments at technology services company Accenture, said the ATMs of today are changing with the times to keep up with customers' needs.

He said: "The ATM is changing, as it takes on a new role to complement online banking. Donating to charity, buying stamps or even applying for a credit card are all possible and may come to your local ATM.

"Smarter technology means ATMs are more secure and versatile today, for example cash withdrawals using a mobile phone instead of a card.

"ATMs perform an important role in the UK economy and maintain customer interactions with a bank. Perhaps cash will always be king."