What the story of the ATM teaches us about innovation
45 years ago this week, an innovation which brought the British banking industry into the modern age was installed in Enfield, north London – the cash machine. Truly innovative for its time, the ATM was the brainchild of one man, John Shepherd-Barron, after a brainwave when noticing how technology behind vending machines could be applied to banking.
Using an ATM in Brazil
I happened to be withdrawing pocket money from an ATM this weekend when a couple (German, I think) requested help to complete their own withdrawal. I’ve been here in Brazil so long that I forget sometimes how these little things can be tricky for visitors. So here’s a primer on how to withdraw money from an ATM while in Brazil.
First, before leaving the US (or wherever you live), notify your bank that you’ll be going to Brazil so that you don’t find your card blocked the first time you try to use it. Do this for your credit cards also.
Once in Brazil, if possible avoid visiting banks here during the first five days of the month. That won’t always be possible, of course. We tend to run out of money at the most inconvenient times. (3:00 AM well into Ciudad Juarez stands out in my mind.) Why should you avoid banks during this window? Because most folks here are paid either on the first or the fifth of the month, and many still pay their bills at the bank, either at a teller window or at an ATM. So the usual long lines can stretch to ridiculous lengths.