Western Europe ATM figures drop for first time
Written by Chris Lemmon
For the first time since their introduction 50 years ago the number of ATMs in western Europe have seen a decline, with the region ending 2016 with 2,000 fewer terminals than the previous year.
This is according to a new study from RBR, which found that the three largest markets in the region – the UK, Germany and France – all saw marginal falls, while the Nordic countries continued to shed ATMs at a high rate. Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland all saw annual reductions of five per cent or more, as consumers increasingly switched to alternative payment methods such as cards and mobile banking apps.
Meanwhile, the number of ATMs worldwide grew by three per cent to 3.3 million in 2016, with the Asia-Pacific region now home to more than half of the world’s total ATMs.
China installed significantly more ATMs in 2016 than any other country, as local banks sought to gain new customers and provider a better service for current ones by introducing ATMs to rural and previously underserved areas.
Other large Asian markets, including India, the Philippines, Pakistan and Bangladesh also experienced strong growth in 2016, as financial inclusion initiatives by governments and banks proved successful in bolstering the number of banked individuals. This in turn helped swell demand for cash, heightening the need for additional ATMs.
Rowan Berridge, who led the RBR research, said: “Over the past decade, the number of ATMs deployed in Asian markets such as China and India has risen at breakneck pace, propelling Asia-Pacific to become by far the largest global region in terms of ATMs. This is expected to continue in the years ahead; indeed it is forecast that by the end of 2022, China alone will host close to one million machines, more than all North American and western European countries combined.”