BANKING: Friend ERMA

California's Bank of America last week introduced its huge new electronic friend ERMA. which Bank President S. Clark Beise hailed as "the greatest advance in bookkeeping in the history of banking." Beise's ERMA (Electronic Recording Machine-Automatic), tended by nine operators, can handle all the bookkeeping for 50,000 checking accounts, takes the place of 50 workers. Operators merely feed in checks and deposit slips, punch dollar amounts on ERMA's keyboard. The checks and slips have customers' account numbers coded on them in magnetized ink; by reading these, ERMA keeps track of withdrawals and deposits, figures out and prints monthly statements...

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