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Saturday mornings will never be the same again…

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MAC CardCash machines are such a part of our lives today that it is hard to imagine life without them, or even remember what it was like before them. As British Banks are under pressure to close on Saturdays by 1970, necessity becomes once more the mother of invention.  Scotsman James Goodfellow patents the World’s first system for using a card with a PIN Number in 1965, and the cash machine is developed by the CHUBB Safe and Lock Company.  It is this machine and James Goodfellow’s system that Martins is first to use in the North of England in 1967.  The BARCLAYCASH machine can be rightly said to be the first of its kind , and it’s no secret that Barclays operates the first cash dispenser not only in the UK, but also in the World, just four months before Martins launches its own machine. In fairness, it must be noted that BARCLAYCASH, which is phased out by 1980 is not the kind of cash machine we know today.  A special cheque, perforated with a code of dots has to be read by the machine and compared to a personal code number (PCN) which consists of three pairs of digits, unlike the PIN used from the start by Martins, and  of course, by all of us in the twenty-first century.  BARCLAYBANK, which is launched in 1975 is the first real attempt to provide other services as well as the withdrawal of cash. In the Autumn of 1967, Martins Bank is not sure that a Cash Dispenser is likely to catch on. Nevertheless, it has, at great expense gone ahead and purchased one which is to be fitted into the wall of Liverpool Church Street Branch, and is one of only three that the Bank will be able to install before merging with Barclays.  In this feature we examine both Martins Auto Cashier and the BARCLAYCASH Machine, each of which we believe should rank as equal in terms of World Firsts…

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1967 – FROM HUMBLE PROTOTYPE….

THE MD1 Cash Dispenser

Image – Martins Bank Archive

Ref MBM-Wi67P12

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Martins Auto Cashier(2) MBM-Wi67P12

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Could this crude arrangement really be the future of cash on demand?  Well, yes it actually was - we must remember that £10 went a long way in 1967, and being able to obtain ten one pound notes through the wall of the bank whilst still a novelty, is a serious first step towards the convenience we all take for granted in the twenty-first century!  Now you can see this exact model in action in Sydney Australia in 1969, thanks to a TV report preserved by ABC NEWS.

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1969 Chubb Cash Machine 1 Design Archives Ref GB-1837-DES-DCA-30-7-1969-1-1.jpg

 

…1969 – TO BAUHAUS AWARD WINNER!

Image © University of Brighton

- Design Archives

Ref GB-1837-DES-DCA-30-7-1969-1-1

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MBAC New1969 Chubb award winning ATM design - (c) Design Council.jpgThe Martins Bank Auto Cashier is the first cash dispenser to use a plastic card in conjunction with a PIN. To produce its BARCLAYCASH machine, Barclays goes for a design by De La Rue, a well established company whose products are the watchword for security. Martins Bank Auto Cashier is made by CHUBB, also famous for security products, and from the prototype onwards, the design is sleek, easy to use, and extremely good looking. So much so in fact, that the designer, Jack Howe, wins the prestigious Prince Philip Design Award for 1969. Is this a case of style over substance?  Not at all, Jack Howe’s design is popular even before his award, and its practicality and simplicity means there are already around four hundred CHUBB machines in service around the country, when he receives it. The following report from the Design Council, sums up this achievement, and you see will more of the original Martins Bank CHUBB design, a little later in this feature…

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The Design Council – Prince Philip Award for 1969 was awarded to Jack Howe for his design – The MD2 cash dispenser for Chubb Ltd.  Chubb narrowly lost out to De La Rue in the race to launch the UK’s (and the World’s) first cash dispenser in 1967, but their version’s steel-clad good looks and simple controls were enough to ensure that 400 were operating nationwide by the time Howe received his award. The one-time employee of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius was praised for ‘an elegant solution to the problem of security for banks’. Customers used a card and PIN — also new technology, developed in the UK in 1965 — to withdraw a plastic pack containing ten £1 notes. The machine kept the card, which the bank posted back after debiting the customer’s account.

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The Chubb MD2 Cash Dispenser

Image © University of Brighton Design Archives

Ref GB-1837-DES-DCA-30-7-1969-1-2

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Now, Martins Bank Magazine reflects - somewhat wryly - upon its latest investment, and seems almost bemused by the possible uses of a cash dispenser.  This is apparent from the various stereotypes used by the magazine as it tries to predict just who might use the machine, and why… ( To read the Bank’s Press Release for Martins Auto Cashier, click HERE )

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1967 04 MBM.jpg       Money round the clock MBM-Wi67P12.bmp

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local rather than national publicity was an introductory feature of the Bank's first cash dispenser, brought into use on 31 October at Church Street branch, Liverpool. This is, of course, the first dispenser in the North and others will follow shortly but it is essentially an experi­ment—simple to operate, attractive, apparently thief-proof and is possibly the forerunner of even bigger innovations. It is this last aspect which the staff will find intriguing. The machine provides ten £1 notes for each plastic card inserted by the customer who keys a number known only to himself or herself—not necessarily a Church Street customer but any customer who thinks he may have a sudden need for ready cash while in the Liverpool shopping and entertainment centre.

 

Cash Machines.jpgThe first point to be remembered is that for its comparatively limited capacity the machine is costly. But what price bigger and better dispensers in large centres or in the shopping precincts ? Would the house­wives use them before doing their Saturday shopping? Could built-in dispensers become one of the features of the populous areas in big cities and at airports and railway termini?  To be an economic proposition the dispenser of the future will, ideally, not only supply a variety of cash round the clock but take the place of one or more cashiers. It could then reduce the counter queues in banks, and perhaps pre-debiting as for travellers' cheques could reduce book-keeping, for if it were to bring additional and complicated records it would defeat much of its purpose. What intrigues us just now is whether the customers will show they want it. Will they provide us with proof that the chequeless or cashless society is not just a dream ? Many people may think there is an element of danger in collecting one’s cash in the street, but how dangerous has the use of the night safe proved to be when, like a dispenser, available round the clock? In a prominent site like Church Street it will be interesting to see whether every cosh-bearing   Merseyside  yob takes to standing  all innocent-like on the pavement hoping to pull off a snatch in multiples of £10.  More probably he will prefer the big money grabs between 10 and 3 which at least he can plan and thereby avoid standing about in the cold. Maybe we will not learn a lot about this new dispenser for some months. It may catch on quickly or it may not appeal. That some other banks have also taken up the idea is an indication that no matter how much one may hope for a cashless society this may be a long time coming, and meanwhile the late-night taxi driver will insist on something more than the sight of a credit card. Various manufacturers, we understand, are already interested in further developments and when one thinks of all the things obtainable today from slot machines and dispensers it is surprising that only in England in 1967 have some of the banks come out with machines which can produce what everybody wants, all the time, more than anything else — money!

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Barclays Spread Eagle FsAnnouncing:  BARCLAYCASH

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Alright, fair dos and all that, but so what if Barclays does get there first, by unveiling the world’s first cash dispenser at the end of June 1967?  At least Martins is only four months behind, is the first bank to unveil a cash machine in the North of England, AND the first to use the concept of card and PIN that we all know today – That is still a major achievement…

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Barclaycash

 

delarue_crowdBarclaycash 2

< Left: the crowds gather in amazement in Enfield to see TV Star and Comedian Reg Varney become the first ATM customer in the world.  (Pictures © de la Rue Ltd and Barclays)

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Barclaycash

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> Right: The new service  is advertised in the press.  This somewhat minimalist ad tells us all we need to know – that from now on , our cash will forever be at our fingertips…

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Barclays BulletinScan No603.jpgBARCLAYS Bank Limited, which recently ordered 75 automatic cash dispensing machines from De La Rue Instruments Limited for its Barclaycash Service, has increased the order to 250 machines. Delivery of these 'robot cashiers' started last month and it is planned to have the majority installed and in operation by the end of June next year. These machines, which en­able customers to withdraw cash from their accounts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, will be sited to cover areas with the largest population and the greatest number of accounts, giving the best possible geo­graphic coverage', said Mr. D. M. Taylor, a General Manager of Barclays Bank.

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Barclaycash Voucher.jpg'We are spending over £1 million on the installation of these machines in an effort to provide a com­pensatory service for the Satur­day closure of branches, due to come into operation on July 1 next year. 'Every customer within the Greater London area, and over half of those outside London, will have one of these machines within three miles of their usual banking branch.  For the remaining customers the nearest machine will be only a short car journey away.' The Barclaycash Service, developed by the Bank's Management Services Department in conjunction with De La Rue Instruments, is designed to dispense £10 against a special voucher which can be processed in the same way as an ordinary cheque and debited to the customer's account. The vouchers are valid for six months and do not have to be paid for in advance. They are issued free to approved customers, each of whom is allocated a personal code number.

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Barclaycash operating instructions

Barclays makes the bold move of basing the use of its cash machines upon the principle of the cheque. After all, customers are familiar with the idea of exchanging a cheque for cash INSIDE the bank, so it follows that their brain will not be too taxed by being asked to offer a similar voucher to a machine OUTSIDE the branch, in order to receive a pre-approved amount of money.  As we can see in the example above, special cheques worth £10 each are issued to “approved” customers.  The customer’s details are coded into the special series of holes punched into each cheque, and the corresponding personal code number issued to the customer allows the BARCLAYCASH machine to decide whether or not to make its drawer full of cash available.  Whilst this system does seem a little complicated against the simplicity of the card and PIN we all use today, it is nevertheless first in its field, and allows Barclays to pull off, (and deservedly enjoy the limelight of) the World’s first cash dispenser.  By 1970, most Banks have given in to pressure from the Trade Unions to end the six day week, and when your smiling cashier starts to enjoy his or her new found freedom on a Saturday, customers are still able to get their hands on cash.  The rest is of course history - Saturday closure lasts only about twelve years before Barclays are once again in the habit of being first to throw open the doors to offer all the services that BARCLAYCASH and its offspring BARCLAYBANK, cannot…

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Barclayscash Personal Number

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Special thanks to Barclays Group Archives

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DA Flickr StreamIn response to our request for information and images relating to the development of the CHUBB cash dispenser from the original Martins design, our good friends at the University of Brighton Design Archives dug deep and came up trumps with a wonderful set of colour photographs taken in 1969 when the MD2 machine won the Prince Philip Design Award.  So pleased to have found them, they decided to make them available to view in their flickr® Photostream. They look as fresh today as when first taken and you can see them in all their glory by clicking HERE. 

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