The need for simple and efficient access to money, without assistance from a bank clerk, was recognized simultaneously by financial service providers in Asia, Europe and the United States. This led to the introduction of automated teller machines, also known as automatic teller machines, or simply ATMs. ATMs are banking outlets which allow basic financial transactions, such as checking the account balance or withdrawing cash, to be carried out without the help of a bank employee. The history of ATM development is closely connected to the introduction of plastic payment cards. These made simple automated customer identification possible. It is widely accepted that the first ATM machine was installed by Barclays Bank in London in 1967.
The total number of ATMs in Europe grew steadily between 2005 and 2012, experiencing a slight decrease in the following years. The number of all cash machines operating on the European market amounted to roughly 410,500 as of the first half of 2016. With regards to ATMs in selected countries in Western Europe, approximately 70,500 of them were installed and operating in the United Kingdom, 61,000 in Germany and 58,300 thousand in France as of June 2016. By comparison, Poland was the country with the most ATMs in Central and Eastern Europe, with 20,500 cash machines operating in 2016. The ATM density in the European Union amounted to approximately 70.4 cash machines per 100,000 adults as of 2015. This was a decrease from 83.04 in 2010. The average cash value per ATM withdrawal in the United Kingdom equaled 67 British pounds in 2014.
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