ATM Usage Driven By Financial Inclusion | PYMNTS.com

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A new report from research firm RBR revealed a strong demand for ATM services in developing markets, most notably in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

According to the company’s latest global ATM research, 99 billion cash withdrawals took place globally in 2015, marking a 10 percent jump in ATM cash withdrawal volumes at the fastest rate since 2011.

RBR’s Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2021 report noted a surge in the usage and demand of ATM services in developing markets around the world. In China, ATM usage jumped by 23 percent, which RBR said was driven by a rise in financial inclusion and efforts made by banks to transition more financial transactions to self-service.

China alone represented almost a quarter of the total global cash withdrawals in 2015, topping the list with 24 billion withdrawals.

RBR observed a similar pattern in other developing markets within Asia-Pacific and MEA, including Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, where the increase in cash withdrawals has been particularly strong.

“Global usage data points clearly to the enduring importance of the ATM channel, both in mature and developing markets,” said Rowan Berridge, who led the research for RBR, in a press release.

“Despite rapid growth in cashless payments, demand for ATMs remains robust, and we forecast cash withdrawal volumes will continue to increase in most countries for the foreseeable future,” Berridge continued.

Last December, cash withdrawals set a record in the U.K., with Brits withdrawing £730 million from LINK cash machines.

According to a report, consumers took out the money in the run-up to Christmas on Dec. 23 to the tune of close to £100 million more than Dec. 24, the record day for withdrawals in 2015. For all of 2016 in the U.K., LINK said £12 billion was withdrawn from 70,000 of its ATMs. That’s up 3.5 percent from Dec. 2015.

“With this record for ATM withdrawals, it is clear that cash plays a vital part in so many people’s lives, and we fully expect it to do so for many years to come,” said John Howells, CEO of LINK.