Cash usage is high, but withdrawing bills from ATMs is becoming increasingly complicated. What will be the future of terminals and what are the alternatives?
Electronic payments grow by leaps and bounds in country: 450 million operations were performed in November as against 208 million in the same month of 2019. But Argentines still have a great addiction to the use of cash.
Strange, or paradoxical, is that withdrawing bills from ATMs can be complicated: penetration less units per personThose that do exist are often out of position or out of funds, and the withdrawal limits set by banks are not sufficient to meet users’ cash needs.
Cash: why it’s Argentina’s favorite medium
For the Federation of Argentine Banks (ADEBA), in the country why there is a reason Excessive use of cash is multidimensional, in addition to high degree informalityhighlights other reasons:
- check taxes
- Withholding and presumptions of gross income, VAT and other taxes
- limited financial education
,in March 2022 He $900,000 million withdrawn from the system’s ATMs, Whereas, Over-the-counter withdrawals at branches added another $600,000 million, This is equivalent to 1,000 bills of $1,500 million in just one month,” he tells the unit.
And they add it,To get an idea of the magnitude of these figuresit suffices to mention With notes withdrawn from banks and ATMs, 1.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools can be filled with a $1,000 billwith a weight of 1,500 tons”.
ATM use is declining in Argentina and many wonder what the future of the terminals will hold.
Ignacio E. Carballo, Director of UCA Fintech Ecosystem and Head of Alternative Finance at AMI (USA) iProUP That five years ago people who used only cash belonged to the system. currently, 98.5% of the adult population has a bank account,
“It is difficult to measure the true role of cash in the economy. However, while it is still very high, in 2022 42% of payments were made in cash, and now it’s fallinghe warns.
George Larrawide, expert on technology and means of payment, explains iProUP He it occurs in the form of shocks Various means of electronic payment are increasing rapidlyleverage in particular Transfers 3.0 and interoperable qrWhich allows you to pay with any digital wallet regardless of the store’s code.
,Paying with QR has become everyday, in Argentina, One in four transfer payments are made using these codes“, Add.
ATM: Why is it so difficult to withdraw cash?
Argentines sometimes suffer “almost impossible missions” when trying withdrawing cash from an ATMFor example, to pay the rent. There are several reasons:
- Daily withdrawal caps are insufficient (up to $39,000, depending on the unit), so they have to return the next day or get the cash some other way
- Absence of high denomination billsWhich is not only a nuisance but also makes the operating cost of the financial activity more expensive
- just looking for a terminal nearby in operation and with tickets can become an obstacle course
Larrawide points out that There are about 18,000 ATMs in Argentina.i.e, one in every 2,630 residentsStands behind the average of:
- Latin America: One ATM for every 2,100 people
- Europe: 1 in 1,300
- North America: 1 in 700
According to the expert, “to know How much should the number of ATMs increase? In a country, it is convenient Check Total Monthly Average Transactions Per Terminal,
“Argentina has a lot of figures: A high volume ATM processes something 16,000 monthly transactions, four times more than Spain (4,000). This data is taken as an indicator that there is a need for setting up of another terminal at the same location,” he concludes.
Juan Bauby, director of the RIPSA Additional Bank Collection Network, details iProUP He He Money changing costs too highinter alia, for the cost of recruitment cash truck, “If we add high inflation and existence of low denomination banknotesit generates replacement is continuous And makes it impossible to do”, he concludes.
Larrawide says Argentina could double or triple the number of terminals, depending on the region, but The difference with other markets is that 85% of transactions are free: Norms establishing that no charges are levied on operation of salary account of a retiree or pensioner or beneficiary of any social scheme.
“just a 15% of users pay for their withdrawals, practically all work for free, This model clearly does not encourage any bank to invest in more ATMs,” said the expert.
However, the withdrawal of cash is still weighty. According to Prisma’s Q4 2022 figures, 42% users used debit cards to withdraw from ATMs54% to pay for purchases and 4% to receive cash in stores.
But the document warns that Cash withdrawal in shops keeps earning Strength reason of great capillary ease of use of the service and Increase withdrawal limit to $30,000,
ATM: Your Main Competitor
Complications associated with using an ATM, especially when making withdrawals Wealthopen a question about What will be the role of these terminals in the future, Laraide believes that The extent of these devices can be changed by the use of technology on the end-user sideEspecially banking apps and digital wallets.
“There is a question regarding the geographical distribution and the need for ATMs, due to which Implementation of other business models as non-bank terminals He placed in stores And they are in charge of the cash supply”, he explains.
He says that this way the user can Withdraw cash from extra-bank collection points such as Rapipago or Easy Payand in stores supermarkets, pharmacies or service stationswho use it as a mechanism to reduce the amount of cash and cash transportation trips.
some national series like Carrefour, Senco, Libertad, Koto, YPF, McDonald’s, Pharmacy, La Anonima, Walmart, Jumbo and Axion They offer the possibility of receiving cash while making purchases. In addition, the BCRA page indicates a list of businesses to withdraw. Wealth Depending on the type of debit card.
Not only that: even Mercado Pago allows you to take out Cash in supermarkets, service stations and shops Joined together, To do this, you must have money in the virtual account and scan qrwithout the need for a card.
Carballo assured that the terminals would not become unusable, but They will complement other withdrawal options and become Smart ATMs, “What is very clear is that the non-banking industry provides more efficient service,” he explains.
In this sense, Bauby states that one of these networks Very wide capillarity across the country and already over 25,000 points,
,Today over 20 million people choose to pay their taxes and services in cash every month, They do it in our extra bank network. A large number of them take the opportunity to get tickets at that time,” he concluded.