A fleet of ATMs with a recycling function has grown in Russia

A fleet of ATMs with a recycling function has grown in Russia

In Russia, a fleet of ATMs with a recycling function has grown, which are now in demand on the market because they allow them to reduce collection costs. Over the past two quarters, several thousand new devices have appeared. But in general, the ATM fleet is growing slowly, mainly due to annexed territories. In other regions, the network will, on the contrary, shrink, market participants expect, including through the development of non-cash payments and programs for issuing money at the checkout in retail outlets.

Data from the Central Bank, published at the end of last week, indicate an active replacement of ATMs of old models in the Russian Federation with new devices. Thus, in the third quarter, the number of ATMs with a cash dispensing function reached almost 113 thousand, an increase of 280 units.

The number of ATMs with recycling (when citizens receive banknotes deposited into the device by other customers) increased even more – by 1.8 thousand, to 76.4 thousand. In general, from April 1 to October 1, the number of ATMs with recycling increased by 3.2 thousand, and their share in the total park reached 68%.

Vice-President of the Association of Banks of Russia Alexey Voylukov notes that there is a process of gradual replacement of old ATMs with only the function of issuing money or also with the function of accepting money, with more modern ones with recycling. According to the Central Bank, the number of ATMs with the functions of receiving and dispensing cash (when money accepted by the ATM is not issued again, but is collected) over two quarters decreased by 2.8 thousand, to 8.1 thousand.

In 2022, the two largest ATM manufacturers from the United States (NCR and Diebold Nixdorf), which accounted for more than 60% of the device fleet, left the Russian market. Currently, the list of ATMs operating in recirculation mode and tested by the Central Bank includes 11 models from Russia, China and South Korea. “There are domestic ATMs (see Kommersant on May 23), but so far they are sporadic,” clarifies Mr. Voylukov. Basically, according to the head of the board of the Financial Innovations association, Roman Prokhorov, they use Chinese ATMs.

According to the technical director of SAGA Technologies JSC Alexander Taldykin, based on the results of the fourth quarter and next year, we can expect an increase in the total number and share of self-service banking devices with a recycling function, including domestic production. “This is potentially thousands of new devices,” believes Mr. Taldykin.

At the same time, experts note that not all banks are increasing the number of devices they use. Moreover, says Roman Prokhorov, “in recent years, there has been a tendency to reduce the number of ATMs in the face of a growing share of non-cash payments and a decrease in demand for cash.” “In older regions, the number of ATMs will gradually decrease as the number of cash dispensing program points at store checkouts develops,” Mr. Voylukov expects.

The increase in the total fleet of ATMs on the market is associated with the deployment of ATM networks in the territories annexed to Russia in 2014, where non-cash payment methods are not yet widely developed.

In particular, Sberbank, which began operating in Crimea only in January 2023, planned to expand the network to 130 ATMs by the end of the year (at the end of October it already had 114 devices). As of mid-summer, PSB had more than 130 ATMs on the peninsula. In addition, PSB planned to increase the ATM network in the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions to 1.4 thousand devices by the end of 2023. As of early May, there were 950 of them.

But next year, Mr. Prokhorov expects a resumption of the downward trend in the total number of ATMs: “The main efforts will be aimed not at expanding the network, but at optimizing it by replacing ATMs from unfriendly jurisdictions.” Alexander Taldykin adds that the introduction into circulation of a modernized Central Bank banknote with a face value of 5 thousand rubles. (see “Kommersant” of October 17) will speed up this process.

Olga Sherunkova, Maxim Builov

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