ATMs: exciting times ahead

To the Monzo fan-clubbers of my acquaintance; to listen to them you would think that the ATM’s days are numbered.

ATMs: exciting times ahead

They concede it has had a great run for 50 years, but suggest it will not have much to celebrate by the time of its 75th birthday. They are, of course, talking nonsense.

In a well-publicised piece we ran last month, Fidor’s estimable Sophie Guibaud even headed her thoughtful article The Simple Fact Is That Cash Has Had Its Day.

There is plenty of research to suggest otherwise. Mobile phones will increasingly replace the card for customer interaction with ATMs. The growth of NFC-enabled ATMs will accelerate. Artificial intelligence programmers will be incorporated into ATM software. The range of services offered by ATMs will expand. We will witness more innovation with the humble ATM in the next five years than we have seen in the past 20. The oft-forecast claim that the ATM can become a ‘bank in a box’ will be borne out.

Lastly, with due deference to the anti-cash brigade, consider current stats: The current number of ATMs in the UK is at a record high – 37% of UK adults use an ATM once a week, a further 25% once every two weeks, with 27% using an ATM once a month.

The ATM remains a key part of the banking infrastructure and will be about for some time to come – maybe even another 50 years, whatever Monzo or Fidor may argue.
And as Monzo will find out when it starts to offer current accounts, there will many many customers who are turned off by a maximum limit of £3,000 in annual ATM withdrawals.