Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Report about ATMs in Sydney (1969)

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Well in this world of instant everything...

everybody's familiar with instant coffee in little packets, instant tea in little bags, instant pudding and even instant mashed potatoes now,

but perhaps the nicest thing of all is this recent innovation by the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney. It's a little card that brings you instant cash and all you do is this...

These machines you'll be seeing before too long (in about six weeks time actually) on the bank's walls around Sydney

and all you do is place this card in here, in the slot,

it's taken inside,

you wait for a light to come on and you press six digits...

Wait a second or two and out drops your instant cash - twenty five dollars of it.

It seems very simple and very nice but it's not quite as easy as all that.

Ian Masters is the representative of the Chubb company who are going to be installing these machines for the Commercial Banking Company - how does it actually work, behind the wall, Ian?

Well, the card which you just placed through the machine there is specially computed with information containing the account number, the branch number, etc.

When it is placed in the machine it is necessary for the combination number to be tapped after the card has been accepted by the machine.


As you can see the whole operation when you have the correct number only takes about ten seconds.

Well, how are they going to work from the bank's point of view. I mean, how do you get the cards and who's going to get them?

Well, any check account customer of the bank will be able to obtain one from his local bank manager.

Once the card goes back in here, into the machine, it disappears, it's not returned to the... how does the client get it back?

Not immediately. The machine retains the card and then it is forwarded back to the client by the fastest possible means by the bank - once the account has been debited.

Um, it only pays $25?

Only $25 yes.

Well what happens if somebody wants more than $25?

Well, in that case I think it would be best if they make arrangements with their local bank manager to overcome this problem.

The idea is to use this only on the weekend, for weekends when the bank is closed, is it?

Oh no, it's 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year.

What happens if a customer loses his card?

Well, if the card is lost it's not going to be much help to the person finding the card. They would try and put it in the machine but of course they don't know the combination numbers of it and the chances of getting it...

The numbers that you press down? Yes.

Um, there's one other thing apparently that the cards are almost impossible to forge because apart from the little punch card holes in them it's also specially magnetised which makes things pretty difficult.

So don't go rushing out and trying to manufacture a whole lot of these cards in search of instant cash because, they just won't work.

The Description of Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) Report about ATMs in Sydney (1969)