News

As cash use falls, banks look to ATM pooling

With the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating the long-term decline in cash usage, banks are increasingly looking to pool or share their ATMs as a way to save money, according to RBR.

Although there has been a prolonged decline in demand for cash in several countries, a trend that has been thrown into sharp relief by the pandemic, banks still need to offer cash services.

ATM pooling – where banks relinquishing ownership of their ATMs to a single deployer which operates a shared fleet – has been around for more than 40 years and is already well established in Finland and Sweden.

Now the big banks in both the Netherlands and in Belgium are in the process of following suit.

Meanwhile, TecBan, which runs Brazil’s shared ATM network, has taken over most of the country’s previously overlapping off-site estates. The banks still manage their branch-based and some remote terminals, but TecBan is by far the largest operator of non-branch ATMs.

There have also been moves towards ATM pooling in Australia, Indonesia and Japan in recent years.

Even in markets without formal ATM pooling arrangements, sharing machines through multibank networks is growing, taking place in Portugal and Switzerland.

Rowan Berridge, research lead, says: “As banks face continued cost pressures and reduced profitability in the ATM channel, ATM pooling and sharing will allow them to maintain widespread cash services for the future in an efficient and cost-effective way.”