Number of ATMs decline as there is less demand for cash

Number of ATMs decline as there is less demand for cash

Consultant Daniel Tannenbaum takes a look at the move towards digital payments and away from cash, and what some of the advantages to that transformation might be

Number of ATMs decline as there is less demand for cash

The popularity of digital repayments has seen the number of ATMs installed decline by 1% in the last year.

This is based on research across the USA, China, Brazil, India and Japan and reflects the reality that millions of consumers worldwide are preferring to use contactless payments and app-related banking in order to pay for everyday items.

China was one of the early adopters of non-cash payment methods, with the USA closing several bank branches in the last five years and retailers reluctant to upgrade to standards from VISA, Europay and Mastercard. In Brazil alone, over 1,200 ATMs were removed last year.

Reduction in fraud expected

Many consumers have been wary of using ATMs following the rise in ATM related fraud. Criminals have found a range of techniques to copy PIN details using small cameras or ATM skimming to copy your card information.

Accordingly, a move towards digital technology removes the risk of ATM fraud and the challenge of police forces to safeguard this.

In addition, the less frequent use of ATMs highlights the fall in cash payments and a move towards digital technology, making money laundering and cash in hand jobs less common.

Peter Wilson of All Purpose Loans said: “The fall in ATMs comes as no surprise as we move towards a more digital way of life. Above all, digital payments are easier to monitor and track, which provides good reporting and bookkeeping for individuals and organisations. From a safety perspective, it is very exciting, considering that digital interfaces are much tougher to hack.”

Encourages innovation

The popularity of digital payments offers huge opportunities for innovation in the UK’s budding Fintech industry. Challenger banks, start-ups and tech companies will be pleased to see a fall in ATMs and more individuals and retailers adopting online payment systems.

For traditional banks on the high street, the fall in ATMs also offers new opportunities and indeed challenges to keep up with the times, moving away from traditional paper and cheques to more open banking solutions.

Ben Arhin of My Financial Broker said: “The fall in ATMs and use of paper money shows an increased confidence in banking apps and payment facilities such as Apple Pay, Monzo and Starling Bank. Whilst the mainstream banks will need to keep up with these trends, we should see paper money become less and less present in our daily lives and moving towards a completely cashless society.”

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