The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the way we use ATMs. In the past, ATMs were primarily used for cash withdrawals and deposits. However, with the widespread use of contactless payments, many people are now using their ATMs for tasks such as checking their balance and transferring money between accounts. This shift in usage has been driven by a need for greater convenience and hygiene, as people look to avoid contact with high-touch surfaces.
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Data for today’s episode is provided by Mercator Advisory Group’s report –2020 Annual U.S. Debit Card Market Data Review
ATM Usage Pre and Post-COVID
- On average, consumers were withdrawing from an ATM 4 times a month.
- On average, consumers were depositing cash in an ATM 2.5 times a month.
- On average, consumers were depositing checks 2.2 times per month.
- COVID-19’s immediate impact was to create a rush to withdraw cash.
- Following cash hoarding, ATM usage declined rapidly as store closures and social distancing took effect.
- Rumors that ATMs were “as dirty as a NYC subway” did not help.
- Mercator postulates that cash will likely not return to pre-COVID levels as P2P digital alternatives gain lasting traction.
Debit card activity in the United States was very brisk in 2019, posting strong growth, but the future growth of debit cards and how they will be used will change materially as the economy is altered by the impacts of the global novel coronavirus pandemic. Mercator Advisory Group’s latest research report, 2020 Annual U.S. Debit Card Market Data Review, presents data on how the market was progressing and what the future may hold for debit card issuers and cardholders.
“Use of debit cards now and in the near term will be slowed the most by historically high unemployment, which affects typical debit card users, who make less than $75,000 annually on average, and by the closure of all but essential retailers. Offsetting this is the trend seen in the past of consumers favoring debit during recessionary periods,” commented Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group, author of the report.