Global ATM count forecast to reach 4M within 5 years

The worldwide ATM installed base grew 7 percent in 2014 to reach three million units. This, just five years after the passing the two million mark, and with the expectation of reaching four million by 2020.

These estimates are from “Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2020,” a report recently published by the U.K. research and consulting firm RBR.

The firm said that driven by strong economic growth, increasing disposable income and huge numbers of people entering the banking system, China’s ATM installed base has almost tripled in size since 2009.

China unseated the U.S. as the largest ATM market in 2013 and is forecast to pull further ahead over the next few years as banks deploy ATMs to meet customer demand in branches.

India also has grown rapidly over the last decade, the report found. By the end of 2014, it was the world’s fourth largest ATM market, behind only China, the U.S. and Japan.

RBR forecasts that by 2020, banks and IADs will have pushed India’s installed base to roughly the same size as that of the U.S., with only China exceeding it in size, as India continues its policy of getting all of the country’s adults into the banking system.

The Middle East and Africa will grow almost as rapidly as the Asia-Pacific region, RBR said. Iran and Nigeria will add the largest numbers of new ATMs outside of Asia-Pacific, with increased levels of cardholding and ATM use encouraging banks to expand into rural areas in both of these markets.

Numbers in central and eastern Europe decline

The year 2014 marked only the second time that the installed base of an entire region has contracted, as regional powerhouse Russia and several other countries in central and eastern Europe saw their ATM numbers decline.

The Russian economy has taken a hit from falling oil prices, and has felt the impact of sanctions imposed by the West after the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014. Ongoing unrest also has had economic consequences for Ukraine, home to CEE’s second largest ATM installed base, which has seen an 18 percent decline in its number of ATMs over the past year.

Mature markets expected to contract

Ten of the 17 major markets in western Europe witnessed declines in ATM numbers in 2014, with the biggest drop seen in Spain, where many banks continue to streamline their branch networks and ATM fleets in the wake of recent mergers in the financial sector. While in some markets these reductions are temporary, RBR’s research suggests that the number of ATMs in six of these markets will continue to fall for at least the next five years.

In other regions too, mature markets will see little, if any, growth. In Asia-Pacific, five countries will experience annual ATM growth of just 1 percent over the next few years, while Australia — the region’s second oldest ATM market after Japan — will see its installed base contract, as cash use is challenged by contactless payments and noncash ATM facilities face stiff competition from other delivery channels.

All major regions still expected to grow

Despite declining ATM numbers in several mature markets, RBR forecasts that the overall number of ATMs will rise in all six world regions between now and 2020. Asia-Pacific and MEA will be the main engines of growth, while other regions will witness more modest rates of expansion the report said.

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