Number of ATMs in China shrinks by 80,000 in 2020

With the rapid growth of mobile payments in China, the number of automatic teller machines or ATMs shrank by more than 80,000 in the whole year of 2020, Beijing Business Today reported on Friday.

Last year, the number of ATMs per 10,000 people nationwide was also reduced to 7.24, down from 7.87 in 2019.

Statistics show Bank of China had 33,300 ATMs at the end of 2020, down 10.76 percent from 37,300 at the end of 2019.

By contrast, the noncash payment business has been grown steadily with 354.72 billion noncash payment transactions made in 2020, up 7.16 percent year-on-year, according to data from the central bank.

About 4,013.01 trillion yuan was paid without using cash in 2020, an increase of 6.18 percent year-on-year.

The reason behind the decline in the number of ATMs nationwide, which occurred in 2019 for the first time and reduced even further the next year, was the rapid growth of mobile payments, which had a great impact on cash payment demand, said Yu Baicheng, president of the Zero One Research Institute, which does research on new financing.

Starting from 2015, the transaction volume of bank deposits and withdrawals began to decline, which caused the decline of bank demand for traditional ATMs. As a result, some ATM suppliers had to withdraw from the market.

However, ATMs will not disappear completely, because China’s regional development is quite different, and mobile payment cannot completely replace cash, according to Yu.

Meanwhile, ATM manufacturers should also speed up transformation to expand in establishing intelligent networks, the report said.

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