Nov 30, 2023
9 ATM Statistics and What They Mean
As more transactions and payments shift to the digital space, an increasing number of financial leaders are predicting a negative impact on ATMs. And while the move to a cashless society is already underway in the United States, ATM machines are still vital to the global economy.
Given current trends, it's helpful to see where ATMs are heading and how consumers feel about them in an era when cash is used less and less.
For the purposes of this article, we'll explore 9 statistics that reflect current market value of ATMs, number of machines worldwide, usage data, fees, and user preferences.
What the post-pandemic ATM market looks like
Despite economic volatility since the pandemic, the ATM market remains healthy, thanks in part to new technologies and increased global demand. ATM sales and usage are down in the U.S., but innovative use cases are on the rise.
A recent Research and Markets report predicts the global ATM market will grow to over $28 billion by 2026, at a 6.9% CAGR. While this rate is down from earlier predictions, the outlook for ATMs is healthy due to technologic innovations and the need for cash in emerging economies.
A snapshot of ATMs in the U.S. and abroad
The number and types of ATMs today also factor into market growth. For instance:
According to Enterprise Apps Today, in-network ATMs make up more than 2.1 million machines worldwide, with out-of-network ATMs totaling over 1 million.
Diversification also adds to fleet numbers, with reverse ATMs, smart ATMs, and cryptocurrency ATMs leading the way.
Despite security concerns and reports of bad actors in the Bitcoin space, the number of ATMs that dispense digital currency appears to be holding steady. In August 2022, there were more than 39,000 cryptocurrency ATMs worldwide.
Cash-recycling and reverse ATMs are largely responsible for an upsurge in current ATM numbers. RBR London predicts cash-recycling ATMs alone will grow by 25% and exceed 1.2 million by the year 2026.
Why the demand?
One compelling reason is efficiency. Cash-recycling ATMs can rapidly sort, validate, and store cash. This efficiency makes it easy for patrons to make withdrawals and deposits from the same ATM cassette - which also minimizes labor requirements.
But even standard ATMs are starting to include new services, such as the capability to pay utility bills or even gamble online. And in the world of retail, reverse ATMs can dispense store cards based on cash inserted by the user.
Notable ATM usage trends
What about the average ATM? How often is it used?
National Cash Systems reports that the average ATM is used 300 times per month. Though this number isn’t massive, it does point to repeat usage. Think of it another way: At 300 times per month, that’s a steady 75 people per week using one ATM.
Also according to National Cash Systems, 40% of ATM users visit an ATM 8-10 times a month. These repeat visits add up, suggesting that nearly half of ATM users are cash dependent in some way.
Cash demand is on the rise outside the U.S., too. In particular, cash withdrawal rates are up 19% in London since 2021.
Here's what may be responsible for that number.
According to the Nationwide Media Centre in the UK, the cost-of-living crisis may lead consumers to use cash as a budgetary device. In general, cash demand tends to rise with declining policy rates and aging populations.
The what - and why - of ATM fees
When the need for cash arises, many consumers drive or walk to their bank, where they withdraw cash from an in-network ATM.
But sometimes, a traveller needs quick cash at the airport. A shopper may wander into the 'cash-only' line at the grocery store. In such circumstances, the quickest path to cash may lead to an ATM that's independently owned or managed by a different bank.
That's when ATM fees kick in. These generally include out-of-network charges, an ATM surcharge (from the ATM owner) and - in the case of international travel - potential transaction fees for using an ATM outside of the U.S.
These days, those fees can be steep.
According to a 2022 Bankrate survey, out-of-network ATM fees came to an average $4.66 total per transaction - including a whopping $3.14 for surcharges.
To avoid these associated fees, consumers can withdraw from their bank ATM or any affiliated ATMs within its network. In some instances, banks may also reimburse ATM fees via specialized checking accounts.
Otherwise, the best bet is to look for in-network ATMs or ask for cash back at larger stores.
What ATM users value today
As consumers turn toward cashless payments and peer-to-peer apps like Venmo or Zelle, it's easy to assume they don't want to deal with cash. But the truth is more nuanced.
According to a Gallup survey, a slim majority (56%) of Americans like having cash with them outside of their home. 73% of those who are 65 and older like having cash at all times.
While cash availability matters to Americans (especially older Americans), data shows that cashless payment options are increasingly popular, particularly in the U.S. As to the popularity of non-traditional ATMs like cash-recycling and reverse ATMs, only time will tell.
A word about ATM connectivity
Of course, ATMs can't function without reliable cellular connectivity.
ATM owners who still rely on phone lines and onsite DSL connections also deal with slower speeds, outdated equipment, and a lack of control for their Internet connectivity. They also may not have remote access to machines.
OptConnect exists to create quicker, more reliable cellular connections - for ATMs and other IoT technologies. Even better, OptConnect gives customers best-in-class. 24/7 phone support when challenges arise.
Want a better router - with more reliable uptime? Talk to one of our ATM/Bitcoin connectivity experts.