Is this the END of ATMs in Australia? Thousands of Cash Machines are Removed Across the Country as Banks Go Digital and Fears of a Cashless Society Grow
New figures show the number of convenient cash machines across the country have more than halved in five years.
– Big four banks have removed thousands of ATMs in recent years
– Machines halved in five years from 13,814 in 2017 to 6412 in June 2022
– Aussies making far less ATM withdrawals and cash transactions
Thousands of ATMs have been removed from circulation as Australia moves towards a cashless society.
New figures show the number of convenient cash machines across the country have more than halved in five years from 13,814 in 2017 to 6412 in June 2022, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
The number of bank branches has also been slashed from 5694 to 4014 during the same period as more and more Australians ditch in-person transactions for internet banking.
The Covid-19 pandemic has also contributed to Australians making far fewer ATM withdrawals and cash transactions in the last three years.
There are 2083 ATMs across NSW, compared to 4433 in 2017.
Victoria has also seen cash machines halved from 3382 to 1725 over the same period.
Of the four major banks, Westpac had 1429 ATMs in 2020 compared to 3073 in 2015, according to federal parliament economic committee reports.
The Commonwealth Bank reduced its ATMs by 800 in the the same period while ANZ removed 500.
NAB had 341 ATMs after 100 were removed in a five year period.
The value of cash withdrawals has dropped by 17 per cent since 2019 as the worth of nominal spending rose by 27 per cent over the same period.
This shift away from cash accelerated during the pandemic and is evident in the sharp drop in the value of withdrawals from ATMs,’ Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said.
At NAB, ATM transactions have plummeted by 45 per cent while cash withdrawals are down by 47 per cent.
‘NAB customers can withdraw cash fee-free at more than 6000 ATMs across Australia,’ a bank spokesman said.
‘If we remove an ATM, we always ensure there is a Bank@Post service available to provide cash withdrawal and deposit services.’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Westpac, ANZ and Commonwealth Bank for comment.
But Aussies are still stashing cash for a rainy day and many still rely on ATMs, particularly in regional areas.
‘Cash is still important for a lot of people particularly in rural areas where people have limited or no internet access and have people who are elderly and recent arrivals to Australia,’ Swinburne University Professor of marketing Steve Worthington told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘There are still a lot of people who rely on cash.’
The first ATM in Australia was installed in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley in 1977 by the Queensland Teachers’ Credit Union.
The Commonwealth Bank and the Bank of New South Wales followed suit in the 1980s before other banks moved to electronic banking within the decade.
By 2017, ATMs had begun their decline with the increasing popularity of ‘Tap and Go’ bank cards for in-store purchases.