Wall Street Journal Thinks ATMs AND Cash Are Dead? THINK AGAIN, BUDDY!

Posted on: 28/08/2014

John Carney ( no relation, it seems, to Mark Carney, the very wise Governor of the Bank of England), writing in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, produced a very ill-informed article in which he trumpeted that ATMs are soon to become "museum pieces" and that cash is a dying payment method.

Now the WSJ often gets things wrong - more of that soon, perhaps - BUT this piece of idle speculation is particularly and breathtakingly inaccurate.

No doubt Mr Carney spends his time closeted in a Manhattan Office, well away from the real world in which the rest of us go about our daily lives. That's why he will be unaware that in OUR world, 85% of all retail payments on the planet are still made using cash! 

Of course, dear John in his Ivory Tower probably isn't interested in many of us ordinary mortals - for example, the 5 Billion people worldwide who survive on less than $10 a day - BUT he could have at  least have checked his facts about  Europe!


But maybe it is different in the UK,  John? After all, we don't use the Euro. Hold on though- THE UK PAYMENTS COUNCIL RECENTLY ANNOUNCED THAT OVER 50% OF ALL RETAIL PAYMENTS MADE IN THE UK IN 2013 WERE MADE USING CASH!

So the man to whom Mark Carney is NOT related ( lucky him, do I hear you say?) clearly has a lot to learn about cash. Perhaps the Journal gives all of its staffers nice credit cards to deal with the high costs Downtown? 

But wait a second! Maybe Carneys idea that ATMs are soon to be museum pieces has more collateral? ODD THEN THAT,  WHILST THERE ARE AROUND 3 MILLION ATMS TODAY WORLDWIDE,  IT IS FORECAST THERE WILL BE 4 MILLION BY 2020. Who is going to build such a large museum?

It is of course hardly surprising that the number of ATMs in use is expanding so quickly. The changing economics of banking dictate that conventional premises are becoming too costly to operate. New-style branches are starting to appear everywhere, with highly sophisticated ATMs the main customer touch points. There is no doubt, for example, a Chase Branch near the WSJ offices that even Mr Carney would agree is far from being a museum.

If our journalist friend wants to cast his eyes slightly further afield, there are many great examples of how banks, not known these days for throwing their money around, are investing heavily in ATMs. 

In Spain, CaixaBank announced just yesterday that they are spending 500 Million Euros over the next 10 years to provide 8500 " Next Generation" ATMs, which will incorporate contactless technology and full cash recycling.

In the UK, banks will shortly announce that they are going to spend around £400 Million to give their customers the opportunity to deposit cheques at ATMs using imaging technology.

We could go on- perhaps we already have!- but no need. 

NEITHER CASH OR ATMS ARE CANDIDATES FOR  MOTHBALLING.The worlds favourite payment method will be dispensed in ever-increasing amounts around our planet from ATMs more at home at NASA than any museum!

So, Mr Carney, please check your facts next time.IF YOU HAD TALKED TO US, YOU WOULD HAVE REALISED THAT CASH - AND ATMS - IS COOL! 



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