After half a century since the first hole in the wall here's 50 facts you never knew about cash


1. Barclays chose its branch in Enfield, North London, for the world's first cash machine in 1967 because its high windows provided enough space underneath for the safe and equipment.

2. With the first cash machines you had to buy a paper voucher from a bank teller in advance, and you could only get out £10 at a time.

The voucher was covered with a radioactive substance called carbon-14 that the machine could detect and match against a PIN.

3. On The Buses sitcom star (and Barclays customer) Reg Varney was the first person to use an ATM.

4. There is controversy over who designed the cash machine. Scottish inventor John Shepherd-Barron was inspired by chocolate bar vending machines and created the first Barclays ATM.

Yet around the same time, fellow Scot, James Goodfellow, designed a slightly different machine which used plastic cards punched with holes. Both men received OBEs for their services to banking.

Yet around the same time, fellow Scot, James Goodfellow, designed a slightly different machine which used plastic cards punched with holes. Both men received OBEs for their services to banking.

5. There is a new ATM installed somewhere in the world every three minutes.

6. Some of the first cash machines didn't give your card back immediately. Instead, it was either posted to you or you had to go into a branch to collect it.

7. Lloyds launched the first computerised UK cash machine in Brentwood, Essex, in 1972. For the first time, the money was debited from your account instantly.

8. It wasn't until the Eighties that banks started to allow customers of rival firms to use their cash machines.

9. Rumour has it that PINs were originally going to be six digits — until inventor John Shepherd-Barron's wife Caroline said that she could only remember four.