Twenty years ago, on Wednesday 19 February 1992, Komerční banka put into operation the first ATM in Central and Eastern Europe that was connected on-line directly to the control centre. It was one of the first steps towards mass-scale ATM deployment. Thanks to banks’ co-operation in the development of an integrated system, ATMs have become part of everyday life of residents in the Czech Republic.

The first online ATM in the Czech Republic was put into operation in Komerční banka in Prague, at Na Příkopě 28 – today the Czech National Bank’s head office. 

While in early 1992 Komerční banka operated one ATM, in 2002 the figure was 446, and with approximately 14 million transactions. The real development of the ATM network only took place after the takeover of Komerční banka by the Société Générale Group. Today, Komerční banka therefore operates the third largest ATM network of 693 ATMs with more than 26 million transactions per year.

Although ATMs are easily accessible and Komerční banka’s clients can withdraw cash from KB’s ATMs free of charge thanks to the MojeOdměny [MyRewards] fee policy, the use of ATMs is declining slightly. “The slight decline in the number of ATM withdrawals and in the amounts withdrawn is mainly attributable to the fact that card users have learned to pay directly at retailers. The reason is that using cards for paying at retailers has long been a more secure and convenient way than using cash,” says Charles-Pierre Serain, Executive Director for Marketing, Communication and Business Development at Komerční banka.

Komerční banka has maintained its leadership in innovation on the Czech card market for the 20 years since the first ATM went on line. It was the first bank in the Czech Republic to install a payment terminal at a retailer in 1994; it was the first bank to start supporting the provision of all three mobile operators’ services in its ATM network in 2001; in 2003 it was the first bank to launch  the  migration of magnetic cards to the secure EMV chip technology; in2004, it was the first bank to offer personal payment card insurance; in April 2008, it launched the cash back service; in April 2011, it issued the first credit card for women, the Lady Card, awarded as the Innovator of the Year 2011; and in June 2011, Komerční banka processed the first contactless payment from a mobile handset in the Czech Republic.