It is evident consumers still prefer to use cash whenever possible, despite the growing number of alternative payment solutions. With card payments and even mobile solutions becoming more prevalent, one would assume cash is on the way out. That is not the case, though, as the number of global cash withdrawals increased by 10% in 2015. This also highlights a lack of trust where banks are concerned.
Global ATM Cash Withdrawals Increase Yet Again
It is not the first time global ATM withdrawals increase ever since the latest financial crisis struck the world in full force. Consumers are far less keen on keeping money in a bank account, which is only understandable. Trust in financial institutions has been at a low for quite some time now, yet it does not appear any changes will be made to improve that situation anytime soon.
As a result, the year 2015 saw another uptick in cash withdrawals from bank teller machines. With 99 billion USD worth of cash being withdrawn in 2015 alone, one would start to wonder where all of this money went. Governments make it more difficult to spend cash in large amounts, hence there does not seem to be an immediate need for vast sums of money most of the time.
At the same time, there is little point in keeping more money in a bank account than needed. With interest rates going to zero – or even below that – in virtually every developed country, consumers should not pay money so that the banks can keep their funds safe. Interestingly enough, the largest withdrawal increases originated from Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Asia. Particularly China has seen a large increase in ATM withdrawals in 2015, thanks to the improved financial inclusion in the country.
On the other hand, mature markets saw an increase in overall ATM usage. Rather surprising, considering how the number of malware threats against ATM devices is on the rise. Entering a card into the bank teller machine can always lead to sensitive information being stolen. Then again, the demand for cash seems to be overwhelming.
Despite best efforts by some governments to dissuade the use of cash, tt seems their efforts have been in vain so far. Not entirely surprising, as consumers do not want to depend on banks mere than they need to. Although it remains unknown how cash ATM withdrawals were affected in 2016 – that report will follow in a few months – it would not be surprising to see the withdrawal numbers are even higher.
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock