The ATM celebrates its anniversary in 2018. The practical service devices have been available in the Federal Republic for 50 years. Although there are alternatives today, the ATM remains popular. Today there are almost 60, 000 devices in Germany.
The Kreissparkasse Tübingen set up the first ATM in Germany in 1968. Taking off was not as easy as it is today. Customers needed a key, an identification card and payment receipts. This enabled them to procure up to 400 Deutsche Marks per day, regardless of opening hours. The Sparkasse was able to offer the service to up to 1, 000 people, around 150 actually used it.
50 years later: Today, on average, every German withdraws 189 euros 42 times a year. Around 58, 400 machines are available nationwide for this purpose. Most of them belong to the savings banks - around 25, 000. In addition, up to 18, 000 drugstores, DIY stores and supermarkets (according to the estimate of the German trade association) enable their customers to take cash with them when they go shopping. Users of this "cashback" process usually have to shop for 20 euros or more, then they can withdraw up to 200 euros. There are no fees (unless the current account model provides for one). Some petrol stations offer a variant: Here, petrol station employees pull the desired cash amount from a “operated cash dispenser” that a bank has set up behind the counter. This can incur extra costs - as is the case with normal withdrawals from non-institute machines.
Vending machine preferred: the cashback service sounds practical. However, it does not play a major role for the majority, as a survey by the finance market watchman at the Saxony Consumer Agency shows: 78 percent of those surveyed never withdraw cash in retail stores. The ATM remains indispensable for many.