2 Reasons Why Banks Have Been Forced to Close ATMs - Report

A client using an ATM.
A file photo of a client using an ATM.
Money Box

Kenyan banks shut down a record number of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in the 2022 Financial Year, a new report has revealed.

The Kenya Financial Sector Stability Report, released in September 2023, indicated that a total of 65 ATM machines ceased to operate in 2022.

The number of active ATMs decreased from 2,366 in December 2021 to 2,301 in December 2022.

According to the report, the decrease is attributed to the rise of mobile money payment channels, which have become the favoured method for conducting transactions, including receiving salaries. 

A collage of ATM deit and credit cards.
A collage of ATM debit and credit cards.

Ironically, however, the number of ATM cards issued in the period increased.

"The number of cards and Point of Sale (POS) terminals increased slightly in 2022," read the report in part

"However, the number of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) declined to 2,301 in December 2022 from 2,366 in December 2021, signalling increased uptake of digital payments devices."

According to the report, the number of ATM cards processed saw an uptick because of the adoption of point-of-sale stations mostly in supermarkets and other businesses.

The POS is the stage where a customer executes the payment of goods or services offered. Many Kenyans prefer completing the transaction using ATM cards or mobile money.

Over the course of the survey, customers argued that the overhead charges when swiping cards or making mobile money payments were lower compared to withdrawing at ATMs and then using cash to make the payments.

Over the past decade, mobile money transactions have grown gradually as many Kenyans, including those in rural areas, increasingly acquire smartphones.

In 2022 alone, mobile money transactions hit a record Ksh7.9 trillion with the number of new money agents hitting 19,711.

A photo of a man inserting a sim card in a phone
A photo of a man inserting a sim card into a phone
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