IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Emergence and evolution of ATM networks in the UK, 1967-2000

Listed author(s):
  • Bernardo Batiz-Lazo

Research in this article traces the origins of a process of competitive change in British retail financial markets by looking at the emergence of cash dispensers technology, how it transformed into automated teller machines (ATMs) and how proprietary ATM networks gave way to total interoperability of cash withdrawals through a single common switch. Cash dispensers were an industry-specific innovation developed by British manufacturers (e.g. Chubb and De La Rue) which were, in turn, overtaken by US (e.g. NCR) and German (e.g. Siemens-Wincor) manufacturers. However, as the ATM became a global technology some of the leading providers (i.e. Burroughs, IBM and NCR) kept manufacturing and even their main design facilities in Scotland. The evolution of this technology illustrates changing boundaries of the banking organisation, the challenges faced by financial intermediaries to adopt on-line, real-time computing and highlights the role of network externalities in financial markets. From a business history perspective, the ATM, electronic funds transfer and other retail payment media have largely been neglected by British historians and management scholars. Yet the success of automated cash dispensers as a distribution channel in retail banking epitomises a shift in bank strategy, namely how applications of computer technology moved from being potential sources of competitive advantage to being a minimum requirement for effective competition in retail finance. This article thus promotes the idea that the history of technology must consider its users, their strategies and business models inasmuch as business histories of the late twentieth century will be incomplete without attention to developments in information and communications technologies.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Business History.

Volume (Year): 51 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 1-27

in new window

Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:51:y:2009:i:1:p:1-27
DOI: 10.1080/00076790802602164
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:51:y:2009:i:1:p:1-27. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.