Inventor of the ATM and PIN Technology honoured by neighbor

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The Inventor of ATM and PIN Technology has been immortalised in a street mural designed by his neighbour who wants to honour him for his invention.

James Goodfellow, OBE, from Paisley, Renfrewshire created the technology behind the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) and Personal Identification Number (PIN) but never saw a single penny after coming up with the idea.

Image: PDE

At the time, James patented the concept of the modern cash dispenser when he was working as a development engineer in the 1960s.

However, artist Shaun Devenney, who lives next to James painted a giant mural on the Spar Shop in Rowan Street to celebrate his neighbour’s achievement.

The 22-year-old took it upon himself to create the 40×50 inch portrait of James because no-one ever believed him, as he said in an interview with the Evening Times, as James was “not a millionaire.”

Shaun said to the Evening Times: “Every time I tell people that my neighbour is the inventor of the PIN, no one ever believes me because he’s not a millionaire, he didn’t get the recognition for it.

“It feels good giving a bit of recognition to James for his achievements.

“This is something so important in the modern world and should be celebrated as much as possible.

“The owner was fine with it. He thinks it’s a good idea and gave me the green light to go ahead with it.”

James, 80, came up with the idea for a secret pin when he was 29 in 1966.

James told the Evening Times: “Banks needed something to let customers get their cash in the 60s. They wanted an automated system that allowed customers to do this.

“At the time I was working as a research development engineer at Kelvin Hughes.

“And since it was my job you do things like that I took it upon myself to create a coded cared with a numerical pin people could use to get their money out.”

“After all, I had to sign patent papers for 15 countries in the world. Some included US, Germany and France. I got a dollar for each signature.”

James was delighted with Shaun for the portrait he created and is looking forward to the mural.

He said: “I think it is very nice of Shaun. It does not happen to everyone. Definitely, something I did not want to object to when he told me the idea.”

James was made an OBE in the 2006 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his inventions and was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame in 2016.




About John Glover

John Glover is the features editor for Clyde Outside. He has written for numerous publications such as the Scottish Sun and Daily Record. Within the last two years he has interviewed some high profile talent such as Irvine Welsh and James Cosmo.

View all posts by John Glover →

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