ATMIA, the ATM Industry Association, recently released its member’s survey that touched upon issues related to the global pandemic, COVID-19. The survey was titled, “The Coronavirus and its Effects on the ATM Industry”.
Member Survey Results
ATMIA boasts a membership of over 12,000 members in 70 countries. Respondents to the survey were from three main industry groups: 39% of respondents were Independent ATM Deployers (IADs), 19% were Hardware and Software Vendors, and 14% were Banks, SFIs, and Credit Unions.
Survey results showed that under the lockdown orders that many countries have put into place, 48% of respondents were able to operate 75% of their ATM fleet. Another 25% of respondents were able to operate 50-75% of their fleet and another 27% were able to operate under 50% of their fleet. Grimly, within the last set of respondents, 23% stated that they were only able to operate less than 25% of their fleet. Respondents also expressed the fear that with many businesses closing, they faced an uphill battle.
As part of the study release, Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA stated, “The COVID-19 lockdown and travel restrictions have created a very difficult business environment for our member ATM operators, especially our Independent ATM Deployers (IADs).”
Mr. Lee also addressed the mis-information campaign supported by anti-cash supporters, stating, “The survey results show many of the pain points our industry faces as a result of the pandemic, with loss of transactions and revenue due to closed business premises and also due, especially in the first month of the pandemic, to the anti-cash campaign which used blatant pseudo-science to target and single out cash as a supposed transmission vector for coronavirus transmission. In reality, all physical surfaces, and even the air and ground itself, can carry viral droplet residues, so this was a bogus anti-cash propaganda campaign exploiting the misery of the pandemic for dishonest gain. Thankfully, the effects of this somewhat sordid disinformation campaign have subsided and ATM transaction volumes are rising again.”
An Ever-Changing Industry
While much of the survey reported the fears and challenges of the ATM industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Lee also expressed hope for the future, “There is an opportunity to reposition the ATM for future growth and to redefine the essential role of cash both in and beyond a crisis of this nature. There is a new future for ATMs after the pandemic, especially since it has not halted the march of Next Gen ATMs, a future-proofing project with over 325 companies participating worldwide in integrating ATMs and mobile phones to create a new API App model for ATMs.”
As an ever-changing, ever-growing industry, ATMIA and the industry at large have committed to keeping cash safe for customers and business owners alike. ATMIA was asked by survey respondents to, “help the industry prepare for a future pandemic and to revise their business planning and disaster recovery procedures.”
And they will do just that.