The Demise Of Cash
John Shepherd-Baron, the man credited with inventing the ATM back in 1967 now believes that the ubiquitous ATM will be made redundant within the next three to five years by the demise of paper cash. Inspiration for the idea of a cash dispensing hole in the wall first struck Shepherd-Baron while he was in the bath. A deal to develop the first such machine was sealed over a pink Gin with the then chief executive of Barclays. In a BBC interview timed to coincide with the fourtieth anniversary this week of the installation of the first-ever cash machine at a Barclays Bank branch in Enfield, North London, Shepherd-Baron explains the origins of the four-digit PIN and why the first machines dispensed vouchers impregnated with radioactive material. He also predicts that we will soon be swiping our mobile phones at till points, even for small transactions, as hard cash is eventually consigned to the dustbin.