Fifty years of ATMs! But what’s next?

By: Shannon Christensen
27 February 2017

Members of CTA’s Commercial team that focus on the design of financial institutions have undoubtedly become comfortable with “standard” equipment included in virtually all credit unions and banks. As we’ve transitioned the last few years to include cash recyclers and now replacing ATMs and lobby tellers with ITMs, I thought this short article on 2017 marking the 50th anniversary of the ATM was worth sharing.

While the first ATM made its debut at Barclays Bank in London in 1967, the first ATM didn’t land in the U.S. until 1969, three years after CTA’s longest-tenured team member Gene Kolstad started working for the firm!


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the automated teller machine, an invention that former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker once called “the most important financial innovation [that] really helps people and prevents visits to the bank.” The ATM did not really catch on until the mid-1980s, when its acceptance brought a fundamental shift in banking and beckoned a culture of 24/7 self-service. ATM fees and impact on branch traffic have been the subject of debate over the years.

And now, the ATM is at a crossroads, its status in question as new banking channels emerge.

Meanwhile, the EMV liability shift for ATMs goes into effect in October, prompting banks to evaluate strategies for aging ATM fleets. Smaller institutions are more likely to have delayed purchasing upgrade components or replacement ATMs, according to the ATM Industry Association.

When it comes to accessing bank services, 61 percent of consumers use the ATM at least once a month, more than any other channel except for online banking (at 64 percent), according to a study by Accenture. And banking with mobile devices continues to grow, further reducing consumer visits to ATMs as well as branches. Just last month, Personetics revealed a survey that found most financial institutions are researching the potential use of chatbots, deployed by digital device and messaging platforms, to help consumers with banking issues.

READ MORE. Plus, here is one more article from on the story of the automated teller machine.

Brick and mortar banking institutions continue to be built in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho as branches promote personal relationships with bankers and opportunities to increase member awareness of new services when they visit a branch. However, we have seen a shift in urban areas to smaller, retail-focused branches. With changes in technology in branches and at our fingertips on mobile devices, CTA’s financial design experts understand how to approach projects — from new construction of branches and operations centers, to remodels to make existing branches more efficient and avoid the empty lobby syndrome that can come with implementing new technologies.

CTA has an extensive background in partnering with financial institutions for the design of their facilities. This includes:

  • Altana Federal Credit Union
  • Embark Credit Union
  • First Bank of Wyoming
  • First Interstate Bank*
  • First Northern Bank of Wyoming
  • First State Bank
  • Glendive BN Federal Credit Union
  • Helena Community Credit Union
  • Helena Federal Reserve Bank
  • Intermountain Community Bancorp
  • Missoula Federal Credit Union*
  • Montana Federal Credit Union
  • Montana Health Federal Credit Union*
  • Mountain West Bank*
  • Opportunity Bank
  • Pinnacle Bank*
  • Pioneer Federal Savings & Loan
  • Russell Country Federal Credit Union
  • State Bank of Townsend
  • Stockman Bank*
  • Three Rivers Bank
  • U.S. Bank – Bozeman
  • UBS Financial Services
  • Union State Bank
  • United Bancorporation of Wyoming
  • Valley Federal Credit Union
  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • Whitefish Credit Union
  • Whitefish Credit Union
  • Yellowstone Bank
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