2015 was another year of spectacular growth for ATM markets in Asia-Pacific. For the first time, RBR has examined 11 major markets in the region in detail, for its ATM Hardware, Software and Services 2016 report.
The study shows that the number of ATMs in the countries surveyed rose by 12%.
Five of these markets saw double-digit growth, led by a staggering 21% in Bangladesh, where banks no longer need permission from the central bank when installing new ATMs, and followed by Pakistan, India, China and the Philippines.
Although these countries are diverse in both geography and population, RBR’s report highlights the common factors providing impetus for growth. According to Robert Chaundy, who led the study: “The remarkable demand for cash services in these developing markets, as well as vast swathes of unbanked populations, continue to provide ATM deployers with incentives for expansion”.
Low ATM density highlights enormous untapped potential
A glance at ATM density gives insight into why some of these markets have witnessed such growth. Bangladesh has just 46 ATMs per million inhabitants, and Pakistan has only 55. China is some way ahead with 335 ATMs per million people – however, even this is low compared to a region such as Europe, where the average is 794, and Chinese deployers continue to expand their networks apace.
Vibrant software and services sector in Europe
Most countries in Europe are already well-served with ATMs, and in 12 of the 20 major markets surveyed, numbers fell last year. Only two – Poland and Turkey with growth of 9% and 4% respectively – saw significant increases. In Poland, this was almost entirely the result of expansion by non-bank deployers.
RBR’s study finds that although Europe is flat in terms of its ATM installed base, the market for software and services in the region is vibrant. Banks are using increasingly advanced software and a growing number are running multivendor solutions capable of being used on ATMs made by different manufacturers. Furthermore, there is a constant need to replace and upgrade old machines, often with more sophisticated solutions. Robert Chaundy noted: “Interest and investment in a region as large, dynamic and varied as Europe will remain strong, with ATMs continuing their role as the primary channel for obtaining cash, and self-service automation critical for banks in their drive towards greater efficiency”.