China And India Continue To Drive Growth In ATMs Worldwide

China and India will be responsible for the majority of growth in the global ATM market over the next few years as vast numbers of people open bank accounts for the first time.

Financial inclusion initiatives at the heart of global ATM market expansion

The number of ATMs worldwide rose by 5% in 2015, to reach 3.2 million at the end of the year, according to RBR’s new study Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2021. The Chinese and Indian markets, where authorities are urging banks to roll out ATMs to increase access to financial services, are the largest contributors to this growth.

RBR forecasts that 4.0 million ATMs will be installed worldwide by 2021. Asia-Pacific will grow by a staggering 46% and will account for well over half of the global total by 2021. The Middle East and Africa will see comparable percentage growth, with similar drivers, although the numbers of ATMs involved are far smaller. By contrast, growth in other regions will be significantly lower, at 7% or less. The total number of ATMs in North America, which will remain the second largest region, will only be around a fifth of the Asia-Pacific total by 2021. To put this into perspective, as recently as the early 2000s these two regions had the same number of ATMs.

Rowan Berridge, who led the RBR study, said: “China and India have seen enormous growth in ATM numbers over the last few years and RBR forecasts this will continue as authorities in these markets are determined to use ATM deployment to spread access to financial services as far and as wide as possible”.

Cash usage remains resilient in face of growth of cards and mobile

With the exception of central and eastern Europe (CEE), all regions saw their ATM markets expand during 2015. In CEE the number of ATMs declined by 7,000, with Russia and Ukraine shedding terminals due to economic woes.

Although developing markets are seeing the greatest rate of ATM expansion, RBR has found that in most established markets, such as those in western Europe and North America, the number of terminals, and the number of cash withdrawals is still increasing. This means that despite the challenge posed by alternative payment methods, such as contactless cards and mobile payments, cash usage remains resilient.