A pair of cash dispensers have been available in the American McMurdo Station on Ross Island since 1998. Wells Fargo, the American bank that owns and operates them, says that the local staff at McMurdo are trained to repair the machines, especially during winter when travel to the Antarctic is restricted. There are two machines so that one can be used for parts in case one of them breaks. Yikes.
McMurdo Station is the biggest scientific base in the Antarctic, and can have a population ranging from 250 to over 1,000, depending on the season. There are coffee shops and stores around the station and – like in any small town – the cash dispenser play a vital role in keeping scientists happy in the cold and bitter Antarctic winters.
If the pair of ATMs in Antarctica are the southernmost cash dispensers in the world, the one at Longyearbyen, Norway is the northernmost. Longyearbyen is the nearest settlement to the North Pole in the world (though there are a couple of research facilities slightly further north), and is a popular destination with tourists who want to explore the Arctic Circle island of Svalbard.
There is only one ATM in the town, and it caters to the 2,100 residents plus the 100,000 tourists that land on Longyearbyen each year. As in McMurdo station, local staff are trained to repair the machine, as service technicians would have to be flown in otherwise and there are only three weekly flights to the mainland.
On the outskirts of the tiny Tibetan outpost of Nagqu, nestled in the Himalayas 115 miles (186km) from capital Lhasa, you’ll find the world’s highest ATM. Situated 14,300 feet about see level, this cash machine is also likely one of the least-used cash dispensers in the world.
Not only is Nagqu itself very remote, but the cash machine itself is located outside the town. The region doesn’t see a lot of visitors either, due it its high altitude and freezing temperatures, but Chinese authorities are planning to build an airport there. Who knows, maybe the world’s highest ATM will start to see some action as visitors arrive?
This ATM is just 15 inches off the ground. The cash machine, outside a Sainsbury's supermarket in the English city of Nottingham, was built too low off the ground, forcing users to crouch in order to use it. It is the only ATM in the vicinity, and is reportedly this low because it's "on a hill", according to the supermarket.
The cash machine in Nottingham has claimed the title of Britain's lowest ATM. The title was previously held by one in Whitchurch, Hampshire, which was 18 inches off the ground.
Many cash machines around the world give you a language option for ease of use. But only a handful of holes in the wall in Hackney, London, will allow you to choose Cockney Rhyming Slang as an option.
Cockney Rhyming Slang is a type of dialect spoken in jest by some of the residents of London’s East End (pictured). It’s based on substitutions and rhymes and was invented by the market traders and street hawkers of the 1840s. If you need a £10 note, you’ll have to ask for a ‘speckled hen’ (ten) from your ‘cab rank’ (bank). It’s all sixes and sevens, mate.
An iconic beacon of British design, the red public phone box has seen better days. As more and more of us have our own phones, the once grand phone boxes lie abandoned. But since 2010, banks have been converting the well-loved but little-used boxes into ATM vestibules.
There are around 12,500 of these phone boxes around the country, installed over the decades since 1926. By converting the boxes, they have been saved from abandonment and dereliction. They are also popular with tourists who love the typical British sight. There are plenty of phone box ATMs all over Great Britain.
This van, launched by India’s Canara Bank in 2016, brings new meaning to the phrase “mobile banking”. In a bid to help curb gigantic lines of people, Canara Bank launched the van bank in Bengaluru and it services around 800 customers a day.
In 2016 the Indian government abolished small denomination bank notes in a move to tackle money laundering. It left many without cash, as they had relied on their vast stocks of small bills to go about daily business. The Canara bank van was the bank’s answer to this crisis, and has been rolled out to other cities around northern India.
Bitcoin is a type of digital currency and payment system that has exploded in popularity globally since its launch in 2009. And Bitcoin ATMs are now fairly commonplace. They allow users of the cryptocurrency to exchange regular bank notes for digital coins in seconds.
The first bitcoin ATM was launched in Vancouver, Canada in 2013, and since then they have proliferated around the world, as Bitcoin's popularity grew. It’s not a regular ATM in the sense that users need an app, rather than a bank card, to access their cash.
British digital bank Atom made headlines in 2016 when it launched its first cash machine. The ATM itself was pretty standard; what set it apart was the row of musicians from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra that played to customers as they approached the hole in the wall, checked their balance and withdrew their cash. The spectacular stunt came after research revealed that a third of us feel extreme stress and even anxiety when checking our bank balances.
A 10-year-old Nigerian boy, Chiagozie Chika, has become a sensation after a viral video showcased him demonstrating a working ATM that he created using everyday items like cardboard, cartons, gum, and motor rollers. In the incredible clip, a bank card is inserted into the machine, then the boy pushes some keys on it. He then connects a battery to the device and, amazingly, notes are dispensed.
Impressed with his ingenuity, local people have been giving Chiagozie (pictured) tips. He uses the money to help his mother buy groceries. People are now calling on the Nigerian government to help the talented boy fulfil his dream of becoming an engineer by providing him with a good education.
Beloved by both locals and tourists, Dusit Zoo is the home of over 1,600 distinct species of animals. In keeping with the animal theme of the park, administrators decided to liven up their cash machines. As well as the pink elephant ATM (pictured), there are blue elephants and pandas all over the park.
The zoo has restaurants, cafes and shops, so visitors need cash to be able to pay for their purchases. The colourful ATMs have now become zoo attractions in their own right, as tourists line up to take pictures, as well as cash.
Everything is magical about this fairy-tale themed amusement park, even the cash machine which takes the form of a gigantic treasure chest. The amazing ATM is in Efteling, the Netherlands' most famous and largest theme park.
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