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China: the number of ATMs hits 339,000 in 2011

Wednesday 2 May 2012 | 10:58 AM CET

At the end of 2011, the number of ATMs in China has reached 339,000, up by 59,000 units since 2010, a recent survey has unveiled.

According to a research released by UK-based research and consulting firm RBR, the largest four Chinese banks have accounted for 50 percent of the growth, by adding 30,000 ATMs between them. The same source has indicated that globally, the Chinese ATM market has grown from fourth to second largest since 2006 and is currently bigger than both Brazil’s and Japan’s ATM markets.

The survey has also pointed out that growing customer demand and increasing “not-on-us” transaction fees are two of the main factors for ATM growth. According to data, the ascendant trend is expected to continue over the next few years, as the density of ATMs to population and branches remains relatively low compared to other countries.

Data has also shown that 21 banks have finished upgrading their entire branch networks to include lobby areas, which has led to a rapid increase in the number of ATMs installed in this type of location.

The findings of the study have revealed that by the end of 2011, ATM outsourcing service providers (AOSPs) have installed 31,050 ATMs on behalf of their sponsor banks, amounting to 9 percent of the installed base.

According to the RBR study, automated deposit is a widely deployed feature. Results have shown that many ATMs are actually capable not just to accept deposits, but to recycle banknotes and redispense them. A lack of clear regulation pertaining to the use of recycling means that deployers have not yet activated (or have deactivated) the recycling facility however, so they are not yet able to fully benefit from their investment in such high-end ATMs.

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