James Goodfellow

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For the English footballer and manager, see Jimmy Goodfellow.
James Goodfellow
Born 1937
Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Nationality Scottish
Known for Inventing the ATM and the PIN

James Goodfellow OBE (born 1937 in Paisley, Renfrewshire) is a Scottish inventor. In 1966, he patented personal identification number (PIN) technology, and the cash machine.[1][2]

He was a development engineer given the project of developing an automatic cash dispenser in 1965. His system accepted a machine readable encrypted card, with a numerical PIN keypad.

Despite being appointed an OBE in the 2006 Queen's Birthday Honours for his invention of the Personal Identification Number,[3] Goodfellow regrets the lack of recognition and compensation for his inventiveness, since PIN codes are ubiquitous today[4]

In 2016 he was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ UK Patent No.1,197,183 - 2 May 1966.
  2. ^ "it was Goodfellow who came up with the idea of a four-digit PIN which would allow people to access their cash". The Scotsman. 15 September 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "Royal honour for inventor of Pin". BBC. 16 June 2006. Retrieved 5 November 2007. 
  4. ^ "How the PIN number was invented". BBC. 2 May 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2016. 

External links[edit]