Could ATMs become as obsolete as cheque books?

They have become a routine stop for some of us, and we have grown accustomed to only needing a four digit code to get them to spit our money at us.

But the ATM or hole-in-the-wall cash machine could be on the way out according to the Reserve Bank of Australia, who have predicted a decline in the number of automated teller machines, as consumers move to digital payments and card transactions.

According to the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) in June 2015 there were 31, 829 ATMS across Australia, giving Aussies the fifth largest number of ATMs per million in the world.

Despite the number of ATMs, the frequency of withdrawals has fallen by around 20 per cent since 2009, as we have switched to card-less payments, Internet banking and EFTPOS  which all drag us away from the hole-in-the-wall.

The RBA has stated: “While there has been a modest rise in average direct charges on foreign ATM transactions, the number of ATM transactions on which a fee is charged has been declining…the number of charged withdrawals declined by around 20 per cent between 2010 and 2014/15, suggesting that in total cardholders paid around $60 million less for withdrawals than in 2010.

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The bottom line is we don’t want to pay ATM charges so we’re using EFTPOS cash-out facilities provided by retailers like supermarkets. We have become wise to ATM fees and we’re take measures to avoid them. Even the use of cash-out has  begun to decline recently, because we aren’t using cash, we’re using our cards. If ATM withdrawals and eftpos cash-outs are combined, around 80 per cent of withdrawals overall do not attract a fee and if they aren’t making money for the banks they will eventually be made redundant.

Will you miss the ATM if it disappears? Will the loss of the ATM make it more difficult for you to manage your cash?