Customers enter a State Bank of India automated teller machine (ATM) branch in Jaipur. (Photograph: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)

ATMs Decline By 10,000 To 2.07 Lakh In FY18, Says RBI Report 

The number of Automated Teller Machines has declined marginally to 2.07 lakh in financial year 2018 from 2.08 lakh in fiscal year 2017. This is primarily due to branch rationalisation by a few public sector banks, the Reserve Bank of India said in its annual report on Friday.

Similarly, the number of operational on-site ATMs, too, came down to 1.06 lakh during the year from 1.09 lakh in financial year 2017, while that of off-site ATMs increased to 1 lakh from 98,545.

“In financial year 2018, the number of ATMs of state-run banks declined to 1.45 lakh from 1.48 lakh in financial year 2017,” the central bank said in the ‘Trends & Progress of Banking in 2017-18’ report.

However, private sector banks installed more ATMs taking their total number to 60,145 in financial year 2018, up from 58,833 in the previous fiscal year, the central bank report said.

The report said during the period between April 2018 and August 2018, the number of ATMs (excluding that of small finance banks and payment banks) declined further to 2.04 lakh, which it attributed to the increasing use of electronic means of payments.

During the same period, robust growth was observed in deployment of points-of-sale terminals across the country, the report added.

The growth of white-label ATMs has also tapered off in the recent years, although the number of such ATMs crossed 15,000-mark in financial year 2018. Pre-paid payment instruments maintained robust growth in terms of volume and value, despite a deceleration from the demonetisation-induced spurt.

Also read: Rising Costs, Stagnant Revenue Prompts Revolt From India’s ATM Operators

"Transactions through pre-paid payment instruments, which stood at a low of Rs 8,100 crore in 2013-14, jumped manifold in subsequent years to reach Rs 1.42 lakh crore in financial year 2018," the report said.

During financial year 2018, 91.5 crore transactions worth Rs 1.09 lakh crore were routed through the unified payments interface which rose to 157.9 crore in volume worth Rs 2.67 lakh crore in the first half of financial year 2019, it said.