A recent Wall Street Journal article, while targeting a certain major ATM industry player, indirectly attacked the ATM industry in general. The article, by John Carney, likens cash to printed maps and ATM businesses to film camera companies and video rental stores — a dead industry walking.
The main supposition for Carney is that mobile payments, once combined with already powerful credit and debit cards, will make cash use scarce enough to render ATMs obsolete. Or rather, more obsolete, since the ATM business is “already stagnating,” as evidenced by a 1 percent decrease in ATM withdrawals per year from 2009 to 2012.
This trend is further supported, said Carney, by the decline in cash use — just 30.8 percent of point-of-sale payments in 2012, according to a study from McKinsey & Co.
The notion among certain groups that ATMs are obsolete has been pervasive for many years. However, despite decreases in cash use, data suggests that the ATM and its industry are far from reaching their demise...