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ATM History

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    ATM History

    The humble ATM revolutionized the way we deal with money and turned global commerce into a 24/7 affair. You can thank a Texan named Don Wetzel—and the blizzard of 1978.

    Chemical Bank's ad campaign announced the start of the revolution in 1969: "On Sept. 2, our bank will open at 9:00 and never close again!" On that day at the Rockville Centre branch at 10 North Village Avenue on Long Island, customers who possessed plastic cards with magnetic stripes no longer had to wait in line for a teller to cash their checks. They could access their money 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through a machine built into a wall on the street...

    For all the talk about soaring credit card debt, clearly we love the feel of cold hard cash in our hands as much as plastic. So much so that we're willing to pay for those quickie stops at the ATM with often usurious fees—usually about $1.50 each time we grudgingly press the "I Accept" button on a cash machine outside our bank's network. Such surcharges and other fees add up to a $4-billion-a-year business, according to Dove Consulting, which has kept tabs on the industry for the past 20 years. That's a nice chunk of change to pay for the privilege of accessing our own money...
    [read more at fortune.com]
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