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More than 4 million ATMs expected by 2020

ATMs continue to grow in number.

ATMs remain a popular choice among consumers everywhere. Banks benefit by having ATMs in as many places as possible. They serve not only a source for cash, but they also fill many other roles that previously necessitated human tellers. They also present branding opportunities for the bank in an era where people see ATM fees as a scourge. For retailers, the use of ATMs near the point of sale may help mitigate the need for costly credit and debit card transactions. As a result, these machines continue to appear in more places.

ATM deployment reached 3 million in 2014, a million more in six years

The install base of ATMs grows constantly for many reasons. As more countries implement them in their banking systems, the numbers will increase even more. ATM Marketplace cited research firm RBR's "Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2020," a new report on the number of machines deployed worldwide. The firm found the number of ATMs installed reached 3 million in 2014. Growth is rapid, considering that only five years before, the install base was 2.1 million. For 2015, the firm predicts additional installations of at least 200,000. By 2020, the deployment number will likely reach 4.1 million.

Part of the success for the growth of ATMs is due to China, which tripled its install base in just five years. It already surpassed the U.S. as the largest ATM market in the world. Gaining a lot of ground as a developing economy is India, which had explosive growth in the field as well. RBR expects the country to surpass the U.S. in deployments by 2020. The U.S. itself continues its growth, as well as Africa and the Middle East. There is some contraction in a few countries, particularly Russia and Spain. However, the overall trend in all regions of the world is upward.

There are various reasons for growth in other parts of the world, mainly related to economic development. As for the U.S., ATMs are now in an evolutionary phase. As more features appear on these machines, they're taking on greater roles in banking as whole, including depositing checks and paying bills. They will take on more roles once held by tellers with each new feature. This sea change will require banks to transform the way their branches function, but many are already on this path. As the banking industry changes, ATMs will have a growing role overall.

December 21, 2015