The meticulous ballet of CNEP perforated cards

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Beginning in the middle of the 1950s, the Comptoir National d’Escompte de Paris (CNEP) established tabulating centres. These service shops processed the bank’s information with mechanical or electrical-mechanical equipment that could calculate, process and publish the data.

The star of the era, the perforated card combined with tabulating machines could record, in the form of conventional codes on 10 lines and 80 columns, the data shown in all letters and in figures on a base document (form, customer file).
In order to optimise the management of its operations, it equipped itself with new machines: interpreters, tabulators, autonomous calculators capable of multiplying two codes figures on a perforated card, etc. This was a veritable technical revolution that the CNEP underlined in its image campaign titled “You are in the 20th century.” This poster also promoted its powerful and efficient equipment, which enabled the CNEP to assert its stature as a modern and dynamic bank. 1961 saw the installation of the first computers.

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