Is this the END of ATMs in Australia? Thousands of ATMs are being removed across the country as banks go digital and fears of a cashless society grow
- The big four banks have removed thousands of ATMs in recent years
- Machines halved in five years from 13,814 in 2017 to 6,412 in June 2022
- Aussies make far fewer ATM withdrawals and cash transactions
Thousands of ATMs have been taken out of circulation as Australia moves towards a cashless society.
New figures show that the number of convenient ATMs nationwide has more than halved in five years from 13,814 in 2017 to 6,412 in June 2022, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
The number of bank branches has also been reduced from 5694 to 4014 during the same period as more and more Australians are abandoning in-person transactions for online banking.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also contributed to Australians making far fewer ATM withdrawals and cash transactions over the past three years.
There are 2083 ATMs in NSW, compared to 4433 in 2017.
Victoria has also seen ATMs cut in half from 3382 to 1725 over the same period.
Thousands of ATMs have been removed across the country as Australians turn to cashless transactions through online banking
Among the big four banks, Westpac had 1,429 ATMs in 2020, compared to 3,073 in 2015, according to reports from the Federal Parliament’s Economics Committee.
The Commonwealth Bank has reduced its ATMs by 800 over the same period, while ANZ has removed 500.
NAB had 341 ATMs after removing 100 in five years.
The value of cash withdrawals is down 17 percent since 2019, while the value of nominal spend is up 27 percent over the same period.
“This cash shift accelerated during the pandemic and is evident in the sharp decline in the value of ATM withdrawals,” said Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe.
At NAB, ATM transactions are down 45 percent, while cash withdrawals are down 47 percent.
NAB customers can withdraw free cash from more than 6,000 ATMs across Australia, a bank spokesman said.
“When we remove an ATM, we always make sure that a Bank@Post service is available for cash withdrawals and deposits.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to the decline in ATM withdrawals
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Westpac, ANZ and Commonwealth Bank for comment.
But Aussies still save cash for a rainy day and many still rely on ATMs, especially in regional areas.
“Cash is still important to many people, especially in rural areas where people have limited or no internet access and have people who are older and have just arrived in Australia,” Steve Worthington, a professor of marketing at the University of Swinburne, told the The Sydney Morning Herald.
“There are still many people who depend on cash.”
The first ATM in Australia was installed in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley in 1977 by the Queensland Teachers’ Credit Union.
The Commonwealth Bank and the Bank of New South Wales previously followed suit in the 1980s banks switched to electronic banking within ten years.
In 2017, ATMs had begun their decline with the increasing popularity of ‘Tap and Go’ bank cards for in-store purchases.
ATMs are a thing of the past, nearly half a century after the first was unveiled in Brisbane