Could ATMs become as obsolete as cheque books? 106



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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.

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?


Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Absolutely yes – sooner than we can possibly imagine. One little affordable phone does it all. .!!

    3 REPLY
    • Thats fine if you live and work where there is phone reception and internet access but unfortunately a large number of country people do not have that luxury. Many of us rely on an ATM at our country service station or local store. Or drive miles to get 2 bars of phone reception.

    • I happily do on-line banking but NEVER use my phone for it. I don’t use my phone for emails either. I try to keep anything that could be private off the phone….and that includes clearing out text messages on a regular basis.

  2. Agree, because the banks were so greedy with their excessive ATM charges that people decided to find alternatives to draw their cash from.

  3. The problem with this world in terms of technology is that there are still a lot of over 65s who are not tech savvy and one of my relatives still uses cash n cheques to pay all the bills. That couple will live a while yet and there are many others. We live in a crazy world…..all about profit and not service… is sad to think service has gone out the window …in every sector including money money

    3 REPLY
  4. I’m still going to need some cash–money to send with the kids to school, small purchases where the retailer won’t be happy with the bank charges for a purchase of a dollar or two, that sort of thing. If shops are still willing to give “cash back” then I could live without an ATM…but will they still have cash to give out if there are no ATMs for people to get it from?

    1 REPLY
    • Supermarkets can go to the banks and get cash from them anyway. I’m sure they won’t pay any fees for that.

  5. Omg I was one of the first here to aquire an atm card and there were only two atm machines! So can you imagine how outdated ill feel..?..dont do it!

  6. Maybe cut the number of them down and make it that they will accept any bank card. I prefer to use cash. The more people who have access to our data will lead to more of our information being stolen. Me, I prefer to use cash for smaller items and card for larger ones. Fees from traders will go up as they are the ones who have to deal with the banks, and those fees will be passed onto the consumer. It will be like another GST.

  7. Most of my transactions are tap and pay. But I couldn’t help noticing that there were signs all over ATM machines in the UK saying they provided “no charge” withdrawals.

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