While the debate over the impact of China's emerging economic heft on the U.S. and other Western Economies will rage for the foreseeable future, one thing is clear-the world's most populous country is becoming the king of ATM deployments.
According to Retail Banking Research's Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2015, China will become the globe's largest ATM market during the next five years, overtaking the U.S. In fact, the Asia Pacific region will account for nearly half of all ATM installations by 2015, with India also experiencing strong growth. The trend speaks to the continued growth of China as a rising economy, says Gwenn Bezard, research director for Aite Group.
RBR says the recession has slowed ATM growth in markets such as North America and Central and Eastern Europe, making Asia the upward growth anchor of an otherwise moribund ATM deployment around the world. Signs to robust growth are also being reported in Iran, South Africa and Nigeria.
Yet these trends are more complex than just macro economic performance. Bezard says that as new forms of payments take hold in the U.S. and other Western markets, the reliance on traditional ATMs, particularly as legacy cash dispensers, will continue to fade. Mobile payments and other automated payments are growing and the U.S. is a lot more ready to see an uptake in mobile payments than many other countries, Bezard says. "ATMs will ultimately suffer from consumers relying less on cash to make payments. But I think that's not a bad thing. It's a sign of innovation."