NatWest is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first ATM by doling out £171 to randomly selected customers, the cash equivalent of what £10 would have been worth back in 1967.
The first cash withdrawal from the initial machine located at the bank’s Victorian branch was made by the chairman at the time, Duncan Stirling on 31 July 1967.
Back then the ATM had a slot for a reusable card, similar in size to a modern card, but punched with machine-readable holes that identified the customer. If the correct customer PIN was entered, £10 was issued. After each use the card was retained by the machine and returned to the customer by post.
When the first machine was unveiled, more than 6,000 customers applied for cards. By the end of the first week, the bank increased its order to 40 machines and by March 1970 had installed 220 machines nationwide.
The cash rewards to celebrate the occasion are being made to selected NatWest customers using the current machine located outside the Victoria branch.
Customers not based in London joined in the celebrations by following @NatWest_help on twitter and were rewarded with Get Cash codes tweeted throughout the day. Get Cash is a service which can be used in emergencies to withdraw money without a bankcard, by using a code on the bank’s mobile app.
NatWest’s stunt comes a month after Barclays Bank commemorated the installation of the first ever cash machine in the UK by giving the ATM at its Enfield branch a lick of gold paint to mark the anniversary.