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ATMs remain crucial as cash demand exceeds economic growth

ATMs are successful when cash is in demand.

ATMs are many things to many people. To a majority of customers, it is their source for cash. The convenience of getting the money they need at any time to complete a payment is what makes the machines so crucial. As the technology evolves, the ATM will transform into a virtual teller much like its full name implies. At the end of the day, however, people come to it so that at the right moment, they have the cash needed to perform their daily functions. Despite a significant number of people predicting a cashless society, it may be that the world is running away from that idea. This only means that ATMs will continue having a role in the years to come.

Global cash demand rates emphasize the continued prominence of the ATM

While there are many ways to make payments, the primary tool for transactions for customers and businesses around the world remains cash. A recent study by the ATM Industry Association cited by ATM Marketplace compared cash circulation rates with economic growth for 30 leading developed and emerging economies during the Great Recession and subsequent aftermath, primarily the years 2009 to 2013. It found average global currency circulation increased 8.9 percent annually, while national economies grew below 3 percent year-over-year in the same time period.

Currency circulation growth was strongest in the BRICS nations - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - at 11 percent, while the Eurozone grew a minor 4.5 percent. The Indian rupee alone had the strongest growth at 14.4 percent. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar had its circulation grow by 7.5 percent annually, compared to an average GDP growth rate of 1.4 percent.

The significance for banks and retailers is the global supply of cash, the primary ingredient that makes ATMs function, continues to increase at a brisk pace. The demand for cash puts these machines in an important place, as many businesses will likely see their customers carrying cash for most purchases. Current statistics by the World Bank indicate that international economic growth will be at 3 percent in 2015 and likely increase to 3.3 percent in 2017. Banks should take advantage of this situation by increasing the number of ATMs they deploy. This is especially the case if they seek to reform the way their branches function, emphasizing a greater importance on dispensing cash. Customers will be thankful, for they will have the means to complete their errands and purchase what they need.

December 15, 2015