World’s most unusual Automated Teller Machines

6 December 2017

The history of automated teller machines is traced as long back as to 1960s, when Japanese firms provided three-month loans to customers inserting their credit cards at a rate of 5%, American bankers introduced their Bankograph and English businesses presented the full-fledged cash machine to residents of London. The common idea of customers using the ATM about the machine comes to paper cash withdrawal, when they need some banknotes for their payment needs. However, the full range of options available with cash machines may be more expansive, than we all used to think. Here is our list of unusual ATMs and operations available at some cash points.

Automated Teller Machines

Venice pipe-organ ATM

Our chart is opened by the most unusual cash machine in Italy, which boasted higher rate of withdrawals at the time of its presentation as compared to conventional ATMs nationwide. The machine was introduced back in 2011 at the event timed to the 54th annual Venice Biennale, the world’s most famous exhibition of arts taking place once in two years. The machine could emit organ sounds, when a user pressed the buttons, and played a melody as the withdrawal was complete. According to some observations, the length of the melody was dependent on the size of cardholder’s bank account, while the officials denied such speculations.

Goats for sacrificial offerings

In 2006, banks in Indonesia were offering the purchase of a sacrificial animal to wealthy customers in the country, who wanted to make a donation in the form of meat to the poor. The offering of sacrificial goats, sheep or cows was timed to the second largest holiday for Muslims, Eid al-Adha day, celebrated 70 days after Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Adha marks the day when Abraham, one of the Bible’s patriarchs honored in Islam, was commanded by the God to bring his son as a sacrifice. Donors in Indonesia, which had no much time to walk around the market looking for a sacrificial animal, were offered to make a money contribution from the ATM with the pictures of the slaughtered goat or cow promised to be sent to the well doer.

Gold dispensing ATMs

For people wishing to get gold instead of cash at the ATM location, TG Gold Super Markt, a German corporation, designed and introduced Gold to Go machines, enabling cardholders to get gold items made of pure gold. The first machine was established in the lobby of the Emirates Palace hotel located in Abu Dhabi. The machine features 320 gold items, including 10-gram bars and gold coins. In 2010 the company installed the first gold dispensing machine in the United States in the state of Florida, Boca Raton. Customers may pay either by cash or plastic card at the current exchange rate updated every 10 minutes by the machine.


In 2014 Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, most commonly known for its short name ANZ, the third largest banking group by market capitalization in Australia, introduced its iconic ATMs designed specifically for the support of the annual gay pride held in Sydney. The company is a constant sponsor for Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, the celebration of which starts on second Thursday of February and ends on first Saturday of March every year. The GayTMs are in practice conventional cash machines, which, however, use inclusive language, when a cardholder performs usual card transactions. ANZ reintroduced GayTMs for this year Sydney celebration making it even brighter and more colorful.

Book ATMs

Book ATMs

In a move to motivate people to read more books, in December 2007 Dongguan Library, a prefecture-level city public library in Dongguan, a city located in Guangdong province, People’s Republic of China, decided to introduce first of its class book ATM. The machine has not restrictions on the operation hours and geography of cardholders, and is usually placed in public locations such as hospitals, squares or just in residential areas. The machines come complete with user-friendly interactive digital library, providing round the clock informational services to customers feeling avid thirst for knowledge.

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