ATMIA Participation at the ESTA - June 16, 2024
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ATMIA Participation at the ESTA

Sunday, June 16, 2024

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by Sofia Sadiq

I recently returned from the "Cash is Proud" conference organized by the European Security Transport Association (ESTA) in the picturesque city of Prague. The event was a resounding success to discuss the future of cash and its vital role in the global economy.

In his opening speech, Guillaume Nonain, the President of ESTA, announced the attendance of 179 delegates and speakers representing 69 organizations from 22 countries. The conference facilitated extensive networking opportunities through sessions and dinners, all aimed at advocating for the future of cash.

Key Highlights from the Conference

The Decline of ATMs and Cash Management Strategies
One of the focal points of the conference was the ATMIA presentation on the increasing decline of ATMs and its impact on cash management strategies, which was recognized and appreciated by many in the industry.

ATMs are crucial for cash access, but the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted their deployment. In 2021, most countries saw a decline in ATM installations due to a rise in digital transactions. However, as the pandemic's impact lessened, some operators, particularly Independent ATM Deployers (IADs), resumed expansion efforts to promote financial inclusion. London-based research firm RBR' published a report showing a 2% global decrease in ATMs in 2021, totalling 3.1 million units. This decline was milder than in the initial pandemic year, as many countries eased lockdowns and operators reconsidered their expansion plans.

Pro-Cash Advocacy
The conference echoed a strong pro-cash sentiment. Dr. Rudiger Voss, Head of Section and Euro Cash at the European Commission, provided an update on the legal tender status of cash and cash acceptance. He stirred considerable discussion by stating that the EU is under no legal obligation to promote the use of cash, as per the EU treaties.

European Central Bank Insights
The European Central Bank (ECB) also shared an update on the Euro Banknote. ECB expressed interest in ATMIA providing data on ATM estimates in the Eurozone and the evolution of interchange fees on a national level. Additionally, they are closely monitoring ATM attacks in the Eurozone and are keen to learn more about The ATM Security Association's Crisis and Crime Management Intelligence System (CCMIS), operated by ATMIA, which is the world's first global crime intelligence database for the ATM industry.

Diverse and Informative Presentations
Jean Paul Cavalieri, the former head of the UNHCR in Libya, delivered a compelling presentation on the cash strategy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Another notable contribution came from Hakon von Holst, a journalist, writer, and editor, who represented the young generation's voice advocating for cash.

Mastercard presented an insightful session on contactless and cash access, drawing an amusing analogy between cash and digital payments coexisting like bicycle and car lanes. This sparked a lively debate about the future coexistence of cash and digital payment methods, highlighting differing views within the pro-cash lobby.

The Transformative Journey of the ATM Market

The ATM market is undergoing a transformative journey, marked by advancements in technology, the rise of managed services, and a commitment to shaping the future of financial services. As we navigate this dynamic landscape, it is clear that collaboration, innovation, and a forward-thinking approach will be crucial for the sustained success of the ATM industry.

Financial Services: A Dynamic Phase of Innovation and Progress

The financial services sector is currently experiencing a dynamic phase of innovation and progress. Transformations are in progress that hold the potential to revolutionize the industry. Emerging regulations and guidelines are fostering increased competition and options for consumers, while advancements in technology are introducing fresh approaches and models for financial institutions.

In the midst of this evolving landscape, it is increasingly important for the industry to remain mindful of those who may be at risk of exclusion from financial services, particularly individuals residing in remote areas and low-income regions. In the future, we will see a payments industry defined by diversity and choice. Cash will co-exist with cards, online transactions, mobile payments, and whatever exciting technologies might be around the corner. This expansion of choice is already a reality, but it will become ever more important as economies all over the world seek the best route to universal financial inclusion.


Additional Resources from ATM Industry Association

ATM Industry Association White Papers
ATM Industry Association Press Releases / Blog Posts

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