Cash demand like a steamroller that won't stop

By : Colin Gordon

October 13, 2014 01:49 PM

Much is said about the decline of cash use globally. ‘Cash is dead’ has been proclaimed so many times it’s hardly noticed anymore. But the truth is that in spite of all of the clamor, the bell has not yet tolled on cash. In fact, demand for good old paper money is actually on the rise.


New research from Retail Banking Research (Global ATM Market Forecasts to 2019) indicates that the amount of cash withdrawn from ATMs is increasing significantly. It’s not only the value of cash that’s growing - something that could be put down to inflation - but also the volume of transactions, in terms of how often the consumer visits the ATM.


There were 87 billion cash withdrawals made at ATMs worldwide in 2013, according to the report, up a whopping nine per cent from 80.8 billion in 2012.


To give this some context, this means there are 165,400 cash withdrawals at an ATM globally every minute, or 2,757 cash withdrawals done around the world every second.


Interestingly, the value of cash withdrawals increased also. Some $13.4 trillion was withdrawn from ATMs last year, which was up one per cent from the prior year. This equates to $2.55 million being withdrawn from ATMs around the globe every minute, or $424,747 every second. This gives an average cash withdrawal value of $161.


A recent Federal Reserve report also suggested that cash is still king. “Cash plays a dominant role for small-value transactions, is the leading payment instrument for many types of purchases, and stands as the key alternative when other options are not available,” central bank’s Diary of Consumer Payment Choice report said.


Clearly, not only is cash not about to give up its crown, consumers are increasingly relying on the ATM for getting to their precious cash. With such volumes and values being withdrawn from the ATM channel, it shows its' continued importance in not only consumers accessing their cash, but also the use of cash in society as a means of payment.


Moreover, with the additional services now available on ATMs that run alongside cash withdrawals, the ATM will remain at the heart of consumer banking for many years to come.


RBR Reports: Global ATM Market Forecasts to 2019;
Cash Continues to Play a Key Role in Consumer Spending: Evidence from the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice


Learn more about NCR Financial solutions.

Colin Gordon

Financial Services SelfServ, Marketing Manager

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Colin Gordon is a Global ATM Marketing Manager based at NCR’s R&D Center in Dundee, Scotland. Colin is responsible for the marketing of NCR’s financial hardware portfolio with a specific focus on activities such as demand generation, sales enablement, market analysis and customer engagements for the ATM business.