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ATMs Getting The Old Heave-Ho

The use of automatic teller machines, better known as ATMs, in Australia is in decline, and the major banks plan to keep culling their numbers as more Australian ditch cash in favour of online and mobile payments.

The number of ATMs Australia-wide has plunged from a peak of 32,879 machines in late 2016 to just over 30,000 in the year to September 2018, according to figures from the Australian Payments Network.

Westpac says it closed 374 ATMs in the bank’s financial year, which ends in September. The ANZ has said its ATM numbers fell by 78 in the year to December, to 2322.

The CBA, which is understood to have the biggest number of ATM across Australia, has been a bit more reluctant to hasten the machine demise. It removed just 10 machines in the year to September.

No-one is suggesting all ATMs are likely to be dumped anytime soon.

Australia still has millions of people who like to use cash and are dependent on the local hole-in-the-wall.

But Lance Blockley, managing director of payments consulting company The Initiatives Group, last week told Fairfax news that he believes overall numbers will drop to about 20,000 over the next few years.

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