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10 January 2012

Asia-Pacific market booms while US and Europe stalls

The continued growth of the world's ATM installed base hides significant differences between regions, with the Asia-Pacific region just recently setting the record for the most new ATMs deployed in one year - however, the number of instal­lations fell in 12 of the world's largest 65 markets.

According to the London-based strategic research and consulting firm Retail Banking Research, these 12 countries account for nearly a third of the global ATM installed base and include the world's most mature markets such as the US, the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy. Continuing rationalisa­tion of branch networks and ATM estates, bankruptcies, mergers and weakening activ­ity among independent deployers were the primary reasons behind the declining installed base in these countries.

Rapidly growing demand from Asia-Pacific and Latin America more than offset the decline in the mature markets however, so the overall growth picture was positive in 2010. The global ATM installed base increased by just over 150,000 installations in 2010 -the same as in each of the previ­ous two years. The total number of ATMs worldwide reached 2.25 million by the end of the year.

Demand from customers and cost cutting have been the most important drivers of ATM growth on a worldwide basis for the last few years. In 2010, rapidly growing volumes of ATM cash withdrawals in Asia-Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa helped to convince many deployers to continue expanding their ATM estates. Low density of ATMs to population, fuelled by rapidly growing customer numbers, have been the reason behind continuing expansion in Asia-Pacific and Latin America - the only two regions where growth accelerated in 2010.

Deployers in Asia-Pacific installed over 100,000 new ATMs in 2010 - the highest ever, for any region. Half of this growth came from China, where deployers were motivated by a 50% increase in the volume of cash withdrawals. Another third came from India, Indonesia, South Korea and Thailand, with the first two countries in particular trying to improve significantly low provisions of ATMs relative to their population.

Strong demand for ATM cash withdrawals will remain one of the major drivers of ATM growth in the next few years. RBR expects the global installed base of ATMs to increase by 42% to 3.2 million terminals by 2016. The ATM markets of Asia-Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East and Africa will expand significantly faster than other regions. The three regions are also expected to show higher growth in ATM cash withdrawals, the number of which will double between 2010 and 2016.

The total number of ATM cash withdrawals worldwide is expected to increase at an aver­age of 8% per year between 2010 and 2016, compared to average growth of 6% per year in the number of installations. 

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