Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Evidence from the Patent Record on the Development of Cash Dispensing Technology

Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo and Reid, Robert J. K. (2008): Evidence from the Patent Record on the Development of Cash Dispensing Technology.

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Abstract

There are but a handful of systematic studies on the history of automated teller machines (ATMs) yet all fail to address the issue of paternity while perpetrating ‘common wisdom’ beliefs. This article looks at the birth of currency dispensing equipment, the immediate predecessor to the ATM. At the simplest level, at least four separate instance of innovation can reasonably claim to be the origin of the concept. However, the question as to who invented it is less illuminating than an understanding of the process of innovation itself and how these competing families developed into the modern conception of an ATM. Our research supports the view of user-driven innovation as surviving business records and oral histories tell of close involvement of bank staff in establishing requirements and choosing amongst alternative solutions in the implementation of first generation technology. This case thus shows greater understanding in the user’s role in shaping and directing technological development.

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