James Goodfellow

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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]