Fast-developing smaller markets, many of which are in south Asia and Africa, show potential for an ATM boom, at a time of slowing growth in the world’s more mature markets.
Insatiable demand for ATMs in China and India comes to an end
According to RBR’s latest report, Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2022, the number of ATMs worldwide reached a record 3.3 million in 2016. The rate of expansion slowed to 3%, down from 5% in 2015, largely as a result of rationalisation across western Europe and in other major markets such as Brazil and Russia. Moreover, the combined total of 80,000 new installations in China and India in 2016, while still impressive, represents a notable slowdown. RBR reports that the strategies of the largest Chinese and Indian banks are evolving from estate expansion to optimisation, while the number of ATMs deployed by non-banks is shrinking in China and not growing as fast as expected in India.
Smaller south Asian and African markets have huge opportunity for more ATMs
Despite the maturity of many markets, scope for expansion is far from exhausted everywhere. For the first time, RBR’s global ATM research features detailed forecasts for many smaller markets, revealing a wealth of growth opportunities in south Asia and Africa.
RBR’s study shows Myanmar is set to see the fastest growth over the next five years. The number of ATMs in the country grew from zero in 2011 to almost 2,500 by the end of 2016, driven primarily by wide-reaching economic reform. Meanwhile, neighbouring Bangladesh’s ATM market has been booming since early 2015, when a relaxation in deployment regulations triggered a surge in new installations which shows few signs of slowing. With banking services and the economies of both countries expanding rapidly, ATM numbers are forecast to more than double by 2022, to 18,000 and 6,000 in Bangladesh and Myanmar respectively.
Top five markets by projected growth in ATMs, 2016-2022
Source: Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2022 (RBR)
There has been strong recent growth in the Middle East and Africa, and this is expected to continue, especially in many African markets. Algeria is forecast to see the region’s fastest growth in its number of ATMs as banks follow the national postal service in building coverage rapidly across the country.
Low current provision combined with rising financial inclusion points to strong ATM growth
Rowan Berridge, who led the RBR research, commented: “although most major ATM markets are now growing more slowly, or even contracting in some cases, many smaller, developing countries continue to have huge potential. These markets are characterised by a low density of ATMs to population – fewer than 100 machines per million people – but are enjoying rapid economic growth and benefiting from state-driven programmes to increase financial inclusion. Cash is set to remain hugely important in these markets and prospects for growth in ATM deployment are excellent”.