Thursday 29 September 2016

As the PIN code turns 50 its founder recalls his "eureka moment"

Published 03/05/2016 | 08:35

Undated family handout photo of James Goodfellow, 79, inventor of personal identification number (PIN) technology, which allows people to withdraw cash from bank machines, who has recalled his
Undated family handout photo of James Goodfellow, 79, inventor of personal identification number (PIN) technology, which allows people to withdraw cash from bank machines, who has recalled his "eureka moment" as he marks 50 years since its invention.

The man behind the personal identification number (PIN) code, the digit-based lock that allows bank customers to access their money through ATMs, has recalled his "eureka moment".

  • Go To

PIN technology turned 50 this week and its inventor, James Goodfellow, said he created the security mechanism while in Glasgow.

Mr Goodfellow, 79, was a young engineer working in Glasgow in the 1960s when the banks were looking for a way of letting customers get hold of their money after branches closed on a Saturday morning.

He worked on the project for a number of weeks and came up with the idea of a coded card with a personal number to access money from cash machines.

After receiving the green light from banks the PIN founder then went on to the develop the concept of the card with a team on engineers.

Mr Goodfellow said he has not made no financial benefit from his gain but that he had received recognition over the years.

ATM
ATM

In 2006 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of West Scotland and was also named an OBE.

After spending time in the US working on access control systems Mr Goodfellow was tasked with creating a way to access money after hours.

When he was first bandying ideas about for the security system he said it looked as though it would be through biometrics and a finger print scanner. However, this was deemed unlikely given the technological restraints at the time.

Mr Goodfellow said he harbours "no grumbles" for not having made any financial gain from its creation.

Press Association

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in Business