You’d Be Shocked To Know How Much John Goodfellow Earned For Inventing The ATM

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6:54 pm 4 May, 2016


Did you know James Goodfellow, the man behind the ATM and Personal Identification Number (Pin) Technology, which allows customers to withdraw cash from ATMs, was paid just $15 (Rs 998) in 1966.

Goodfellow changed the face of banking industry with his inventions – but it didn’t make him rich.

ATM inventor James Goodfellow with one of the early ‘coded bank tokens’ and a modern day card. theguardian

ATM inventor James Goodfellow with one of the early ‘coded bank tokens’ and a modern day card. theguardian

However, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of his invention, the 79-year-old Goodfellow said he has not made a penny more from it since.

If we do some calculations, it can be easily seen that $15 earned at that time has the same buying power as $111 (Rs 7385).

“You can imagine how I feel when I see bankers getting £1 million bonuses. I wonder what they contributed to the banking industry more than I did to merit a £1 million bonus. It doesn’t make much sense to me, but that’s the way of the world,” he has said.


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“What I fell victim to is that as a research and development engineer, it was part of my job to invent things. My invention in 1966 was 11 years too early. They were happy to take the invention and made a lot of money from royalties around the world,” Goodfellow said.

The cash machine has become a world-conquering piece of technology. There are 3 million ATMs worldwide, with the number forecast to hit 4 million by 2020.

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