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Asia leads the way as growth in global ATM market accelerates

The number of ATMs installed worldwide increased by more than 180,000 during 2012 so the global ATM market reached 2.6 million at the end of the year. This is one of the main findings from “Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2018” by London-based strategic research and consulting firm RBR. At 8%, the global market grew faster in 2012 than in either 2011 or 2010.

At 13%, growth was strongest in the Asia-Pacific region, which includes established markets such as Japan and South Korea, and high growth markets such as China and India. The Middle East & Africa region grew by 12%, while central and eastern Europe saw 11% growth. Latin America – driven mainly by Brazil – saw 5% growth.

There are only two regions where growth in ATM numbers has not been strong. Western Europe and North America have both seen slower growth in recent years as markets in those regions have matured. The latter recorded a slight contraction in its installed base for the first time in 2012, with bank branch closures and a tighter regulatory environment taking their toll.

However, even in regions where growth is less strong, there is still significant demand for new ATMs – primarily as replacements for existing terminals. Annual shipments in both North America and western Europe run into the tens of thousands, and this will continue to be the case for years to come.

Within the Asia-Pacific region, China is by far the largest market, with the installed base passing 400,000 ATMs during 2012, while the Indian market expanded by a huge 44%. According to RBR’s research, China has now overtaken the USA as the world’s largest market.

A bar graph showing the global growth of ATM's

The number of ATMs installed worldwide increased by more than 180,000 during 2012 to reach 2.6 million at the end of the year

ATM deployment not limited to banks – independents play an important role

While most ATMs continue to be deployed by banks, there are many other types of company active in the sector – using income from interchange fees, customer surcharging and advertising to build a business case. According to RBR’s research, independent ATM deployers (IADs) are now present in every global region and account for 17% of the global installed base.

IAD presence nevertheless varies widely between regions. In North America, IADs account for over 50% of ATMs, and in Asia-Pacific, western Europe, the Middle East and Africa the share is around 10%, while in central and eastern Europe and Latin America it is less than 2%.

Non-bank deployers vary widely in size and sector. In western markets such as the USA, Germany and the UK, commercial IADs have been present for many years, with machines in locations such as convenience stores, shops and bars. Elsewhere, supermarkets (e.g. Lawson in Japan), ATM vendors (e.g. Nautilus Hyosung in South Korea) and payroll services providers (e.g. Workers Equity Holding in the UAE) are turning to ATMs as a way to serve their customers, as well as generating extra revenue.

In India – one of the world’s strongest growth markets – the ATM sector is in the process of being opened up to non-bank deployers for the first time, with major industrial conglomerates (e.g. Tata) and specialist ATM businesses (e.g. Prizm Payments) coming on board to lead the drive towards greater financial inclusion. This model may be adopted in other emerging markets in Asia and beyond.

Banking the unbanked set to drive deployment in the coming years

Looking forward, Asia-Pacific is set to dominate global ATM growth for years to come. More than one million new installations are forecast to be added worldwide by 2018, with over 800,000 of these in Asia. The main driver of this phenomenal growth is the need to serve the vast unbanked populations of China and India, with markets such as Vietnam and Indonesia also set to boom. In other regions, markets such as Russia, Nigeria, Brazil and Iran will see the strongest demand for new ATMs.

“Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2018” contains comprehensive information on all of the world’s major ATM markets, and information relevant to hardware and software manufacturers, resellers, outsourcing providers, third-party processors and others.

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