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The History of the Swedish ATM - Sparfrämjandet and Metior

10 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2011  

Björn Thodenius

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Bernardo Batiz-Lazo

Bangor Business School

Tobias Karlsson

Lund University

Date Written: September 1, 2010


In this paper we describe the first decades of the history of the Swedish ATM (Automated teller machine). Sweden was one of the pioneers in using ATMs, starting with cash dispensers or cash machines in 1967. The first machine was made operational and shown to the press on July 6, 1967, in Uppsala at Upsala Sparbank, only one week after the first cash machine in the world was made operational in the UK. The Swedish machine was manufactured by the Malmö based company Metior. This paper seeks to document the origins and early development of cash machines by Swedish savings banks, employing oral as well as archival sources. Interestingly, we find that the key actor behind the ATM technology was not the saving banks’ computer company Spadab, but Sparfrämjandet, a company most known for its campaigns to encourage thrift among children.

Keywords: cash dispensers, automated teller machines (ATM), technological change, savings banks, Sweden

JEL Classification: N24, E24, N84, G21, L63

Suggested Citation

Thodenius, Björn and Batiz-Lazo, Bernardo and Karlsson, Tobias, The History of the Swedish ATM - Sparfrämjandet and Metior (September 1, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Björn Thodenius

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Bernardo Batiz-Lazo (Contact Author)

Bangor Business School ( email )

Hen Goleg
College Road
Bangor, Wales LL57 2DG
United Kingdom
+44(0)1248382277 (Phone)


Tobias Karlsson

Lund University ( email )

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