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China becomes the world’s largest ATM market

China becomes the world’s largest ATM market

China became the world’s largest ATM market in 2013, surpassing the US, according to the latest report “ATMs in China 2014” strategic research and consulting firm Retail Banking Research (RBR).

The number of ATMs in China has grown dramatically in recent years, but despite the

Image showing ATM in use in China

China became the world’s largest ATM market in 2013

large installed base and already high growth rate, growth still managed to accelerate in 2013. Overall the number of ATMs in the country increased by 25% to reach 520,000 machines. Customer demand remains the main driver of growth, with the government encouraging the extension of ATM provision in order to attract new cardholders. Over 4.2 billion payment cards had been issued by the end of 2013, stimulating the need for more ATMs.

The recent rapid growth has been accompanied by an expansion in ATM facilities, as larger banks in particular have sought to optimise the channel, and minimise waiting time for customers. The number of ATMs allowing interbank transfers increased significantly in 2013 following heavy promotion by China UnionPay. Medium-sized banks were the first to adopt the facility in order to court new customers, and larger banks have now followed suit to maintain their competitive advantages.

The volume of cash withdrawals grew by almost 20% in 2013, driven by the high number of cardholders at large banks. Cash remains the only payment tool for a large share of the rural population, although the total volume and value of card payments are growing. Many banks have increased the maximum value which can be withdrawn at their ATMs in recent years in order to increase the efficiency of the channel.

Despite the significant growth in ATMs, China’s density of 385 ATMs per million people remains below the global average, suggesting that there is still much room for future development. Although the ATM density of some of the country’s major cities is higher than that of many western countries, there are still many provinces with fewer than 200 ATMs per million inhabitants.

The post China becomes the world’s largest ATM market appeared first on Payments Cards & Mobile.

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