In 1950 the Bank of America asked SRI to assess the possibility of developing electronic computers that could take over the labor-intensive banking tasks of handling checks and balancing accounts. The creation of branch offices and the rapidly increasing number of checks being used by a growing clientele threatened to overwhelm the existing manual processing and record keeping. At that time no large-scale electronic machine for any bank was under development. Existing computers were used mostly for scientific calculations. They were unreliable, and had extremely limited input and output capability. In spite of these facts, SRI’s feasibility study, issued in May 1951, was sufficiently encouraging for the Bank of America to authorize a major multi-year development effort.
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