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IBM 3624: Wikis


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A successor to the IBM 3614, the IBM 3624 was a late 1970s second-generation Automatic teller machine that was designed at the IBM Los Gatos lab[1]. IBM 3624 units, along with the later IBM 4732, were manufactured at IBM facilities in Charlotte, North Carolina and Havant, England until all operations were sold to Diebold, tied to the formation of the InterBold partnership between IBM and Diebold.

Comparable units marketed by other companies at the time were the Diebold TABS 9000 and NCR 50xx series.

The 3624 was marketed in 8 different versions. The 3624 Version 8 incorporated use of a 6-row by 40-column dot-matrix customer display, 4 line by 34 character statement / journal printer, labeled function / account keys, 1 to 2 currency cartridges and an optional depository. Earlier models (such as the Version 2) featured a smaller 2-line display.

Unusual by today's standards, the customer's ATM card was inserted with the magnetic stripe up. Modern ATMs typically are built to expect customers to insert their card with the magnetic strip facing down (with the added benefit of the card issuer's logo being displayed to the customer on insert), although this can be changed to the opposite orientation.

The transaction records printed by the 3624 and used by customers to verify their transactions were approximately 3 inches square and on similar card stock to punch cards. When performing deposits, customers were instructed to place a special transaction record inside of the deposit envelope to aid in the processing of the transaction by the back office staff.

One of the most unfortunate design characteristics of the 3624 was that the vault that contained the cash dispenser was located in the upper area of the unit. Being a top-heavy unit, the 3624 was an extremely awkward machine to transport up and down stairs.

A complaint against the 3624 was the relatively small size of the cash cartridges (used to give money to customers) in comparison to other vendors' equipment.

As was typical for ATM hardware of this era, the IBM 3624 had a distinct high-level communications protocol, also known as 3624. The IBM 3624 communications protocol was incompatible with other ATM vendor's high-level communications protocol, but there was no expectation that it should be.

The 3624 was eventually replaced by the IBM 473x series of ATMs. Part of the reason for the failure of the IBM 473x to take hold in the ATM marketplace was due to the lack of a backwards compatibility to the 3624 protocol when it was initially introduced.

One of the most lasting features introduced with the 3624 was the IBM 3624 PIN block format used in transmission of an encrypted personal identification number (PIN).


  1. ^ 2004 Newsgroup postings (11/20 - 12/5) Lynn Wheeler

External links

  • [1] IBM: Picture of an IBM 3614 (from [2])
  • [3] Royal Bank of Canada: Picture of an IBM 3624 (from [4])
  • [5] IBM: Picture of an IBM 4731 (from [6])
  • [7] Wingenback Ltd. : Picture of an IBM 3624 being delivered
  • [8] A picture of some IBM test money with a 3624 cash cartridge printed on it (from
  • [9] IBM: A brief mention of the 3624 protocol
  • [10] PDF of methods to attack the 3624 PIN Block

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