How ATMs have taken over the world
Somalia’s first ever ATM machine was unveiled in Mogadishu this week, a major step for a country that has struggled with instability and war. “I have been staying in Mogadishu for longer than I originally planned so I ran out of cash,” Omar Hassan, a visitor from Britain, told the BBC. “I couldn’t believe my luck when I heard about the new cash machine.”
It’s been a long time coming. The first ATM (automated teller machine) was installed in London by Barclay’s Bank in 1967, and made in to New York a couple of years later. Since then, the concept of a “cash machine” has propagated around the world, with millions of ATMs in countries far and wide.
But what countries other than Somalia have lagged behind in the use of ATMs? Myanmar was once renowned for its lack of ATMs, and the inability (or refusal) of businesses to accept credit cards, but in the past couple of years that has changed. These maps, made using estimates from the World Bank, show where the world’s ATMs are: