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Banking Revolution


From the WDM 100 Year Timeline of
Saskatchewan History

Customer swipes her card in Dalmeny, Sask., 2007
Ruth Bitner photo

Banking Revolution - 1977
I can see cash and checks playing a role for decades, but as decreasing components in a generally electronic payments system.
Norman Bromberger, Saskatchewan Credit Union Central general manager, IBM publication, n.d.

A plastic card connecting people immediately and directly to their bank accounts was unheard of in Canada in 1970. By the end of the decade, that had changed. And the change began in Saskatchewan.

In 1976, Sherwood Credit Union, at the urging of their Controller Ed Gebert, tested Canada's first automated teller machine or ATM. The next year, other credit unions in Regina and Saskatoon installed the new devices. By 1979, credit unions around the province were investing in ATMs.

It took a while for ATMs to win over customers. How could people learn to operate such new fangled machines? But practice makes perfect, and today who can imagine life without ATMs?

debit cardDebit Card Revolution - 1985
After their success with the Automated Teller Machine, Credit Union innovators in Saskatchewan went on to their next revolutionary idea–the debit card.

A pilot project was set up at Pioneer Co-op in Swift Current. The two-year test was hailed as a success. Combined with the development elsewhere of shared ATMs and merchant terminals, by the early 1990s, debit cards were introduced across the country.


Saskatchewan InnovationYou might also be interested in:

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