John Shepherd-Barron, the man who invented the ATM, has died after a short illness, aged 84. Barron, who was born in India to Scottish parents in 1925 .He is survived by his wife, three sons and six grand children .The world's first ATM was installed in a branch of Barclays in Enfield, North London. John Shepherd Barron, who worked for the printing firm De La Rue was the chief inventor.
In a Barclays press release, the bank stated that comedy actor Reg Varney, star of TV sitcom "On the Buses", became the first person in the country to use a cash machine at Barclays Enfield on June 27th 1967 The ATMS were at that time called DACS for De La Rue Automatic Cash System. John Shepherd Barron was the managing director of De La Rue Instruments, the company which made the first ATMS.
At that time plastic ATM cards did not exist. John Shepherd Barron's ATM machine took checks that were impregnated with carbon 14, a slightly radioactive substance. The ATM machine would detect the carbon 14 mark and match it against a pin number. Shepherd-Barron credited his wife with the idea for a four-digit PIN code after first toying with the use of a six-digit security code. He told the BBC: "Over the kitchen table, she said she could only remember four figures, so because of her, four figures became the world standard." He did not patent his system and did not make any money from his invention.There are now more than 1.7 million ATMs across the globe, according to the ATM Industry Association.