Tap turns off ATM, branches cash flow
ATMs and bank branches are rapidly disappearing since ATM charges ended and as more people use “tap and go”.
Exclusive figures show ATM numbers have dropped by nearly 450 nationally since withdrawal fees were dumped in September. The big four banks all ditched the foreign ATM fees, which slugged customers up to $2 to withdraw cash from a machine outside their bank’s network.
In the past year Westpac has removed 200 machines, ANZ 130 and NAB 115, while CBA has added two machines.
Bank branches have also closed over the past 12 months.
ANZ shut 46 branches, NAB 36, Westpac 34 and CBA nine — a total of 125 closures.
Financial comparison website Mozo said ATMs were no longer the cash cows they once were for banks, while more customers were paying using “tap and go” technology rather than cash.
“The scrapping of ATM charges last year ... means ATMs are no longer as lucrative as they once were,’’ Mozo spokeswoman Kirsty Lamont said
“With operating costs eating into the bank’s bottom line, we expect even more ATMs to fall by the wayside over the next year, or the introduction of a merged ATM system shared between banks.”
Australian Payments Network data shows the number of ATM withdrawals fell 25 per cent in the past five years, while the amount of cash withdrawn dropped by 12 per cent or $17.5 billion.
Australian Banking Association chief economist Tony Pearson said “cash was no longer king”.
“Today Australians are able to pay for goods and services at the swipe of a card, smart phone or even their watch,’’ Mr Pearson said.
“As a result of this shift there has been a reduction in customer reliance on more traditional banking channels such as branches and ATMs.”