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Financial Inclusion and Cost of Living Drive Demand for Cash at ATMs


Financial Inclusion and Cost of Living Drive Demand for Cash at ATMs

The number of cash withdrawals at ATMs rose in two thirds of countries in 2022, with increases seen not only in smaller, developing countries but also some larger and more established markets

ATM withdrawals rising in two-thirds of countries, despite overall worldwide decline

After a steep drop in 2020 and a slight bounce back up in 2021, the total number of cash withdrawals at ATMs worldwide resumed its longer-term downwards trend in 2022. Increased adoption of cashless payments and digital banking are leading to fewer ATM transactions overall, although the global decrease masks a more varied picture among different markets.

The latest research by strategic research and consulting firm RBR Data Services, a division of Datos Insights, for its Global ATM Intelligence Service shows that total cash withdrawals were up in 41 of the 63 major markets in which RBR Data Services tracks ATM usage.

Double-digit growth rates were seen in markets as varied as Ecuador and Turkey. In Ecuador, cash remains the most reliably accepted payment method, and financial inclusion measures are bringing greater numbers of people into the banking system. In Turkey, meanwhile, the rise in cash withdrawals can be attributed to the lifting of lockdown restrictions and the rising cost of living, as some consumer segments turn more to cash when feeling the squeeze of inflation.

Usage per ATM on the up as banks and other providers continue to withdraw terminals

While the total number of cash withdrawals worldwide decreased in 2022, the opposite was true for the average number per ATM. The pace at which banks are removing machines means that while total transactions are down, those ATMs which remain in place are seeing heavier usage.

With an average of over 8,600 cash withdrawals per ATM per month, Hong Kong – a densely populated territory with a highly affluent population – has by far the highest per-terminal usage level. Kenya – a more sparsely populated country with a developing economy – also has relatively high average usage, owing to its low ATM provision.

ATM Cash Withdrawals Worldwide

Cash and ATMs remain a lifeline for many consumers

The number of cash withdrawals at ATMs worldwide is expected to decrease slowly over the next few years, as alternative payment and banking methods make further inroads. Nevertheless, average usage levels will rise, as the number of ATMs in operation continue to decrease.

Mandy Eagle, who led the Global ATM Intelligence Service research, commented: “Cash remains an important payment method for millions of people around the world, even in those markets that are furthest along the so-called ‘cashless’ path, and while ATM numbers and usage will continue to decline at a gradual pace, the need for cash and for ATMs is not going away in the foreseeable future”.


Notes to editors

About RBR Data Services

RBR Data Services provides clients with independent and reliable data and insights through published research, consulting and bespoke data services. Our global research covers the cards and payments, retail technology and banking automation sectors and is used by the leading market participants, analysts and regulators as the authoritative source of industry and competitor benchmark data. For any questions about this release, please contact [email protected].

About Datos Insights

Datos Insights delivers the most comprehensive and industry-specific data and advice to the companies trusted to protect and grow the world’s assets, and to the technology and service providers who support them. Staffed by experienced industry executives, researchers, and consultants, we support the world’s most progressive banks, insurers, investment firms, and technology companies through a mix of insights and advisory subscriptions, data services, custom projects and consulting, conferences, and executive councils.

The information and data within this press release are the copyright of Datos Insights, and may only be quoted with appropriate attribution to RBR Data Services, a division of Datos Insights. The information is provided free of charge and may not be resold.