Automated teller machines (ATMs) – aka cashpoints – will steadily disappear from UK streets as they are superseded by money transfer from local outlets and new apps that enable device to device cash transfers worldwide, predicts Xpress Money.
Predicting their demise, the money transfer firm draws a parallel with phone boxes, which most British consumers have abandoned for mobile phones. “At their peak there were just over 80,000 phone boxes in the UK – and today there are around 70,000 ATMs nationwide,” said Sudhesh Giriyan, chief operating officer (COO) of Xpress Money. “The dynamics are similar.
“Phone boxes and ATMs offer a location-based transaction. Today, though, only 3% of the [UK] population use phone boxes – and our assumption, over time, is that the same decline in use will apply to ATMs as consumers become more accustomed to the use of money transfer services via their corner store or via an app.”
The company notes that a growing proportion of UK consumers, particularly in younger age groups, rarely use cash for the majority of their purchases, with those over the age of 65 by far the most reliant on notes and coins. Payments UK has predicted that by 2025, the proportion of consumer purchases made with cash will represent around one third of all transactions, compared to the current figure of just over half.
By contrast, the money transfer market has “exploded” in recent years, says Xpress Money. “Annual non-bank transfers of cash amount to around £400bn [US$583bn] globally or £54 per head for every person on the planet – the equivalent of each person transferring £1 per week.
“Recent findings from Juniper Research found the number of mobile money transfers was set to increase by 150% in 2015 to more than 15bn. Innovation is driving the global remittance market with new mobile platforms delivering convenient and secure methods of transfer via social channels.”
However, a London summit on the industry’s introduction of the technology cautions that testing and acceptance are still at an early stage and firms should proceed with caution.
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