Spain’s ATMs have been steadily declining to the 2002 levels. Local media reports that these measures were taken in order to cut costs, push digitalization of payment operations and encourage digitization. In 2008, there were 61.714 ATMs in use.
Spain’s banks reduce ATMs
Spain’s ATM numbers have dropped to their lowest point since 2002 when it had 1,795 more than they do today. The Bank of Spain reported that there were 48,081 ATMs in the network at the close of the third quarter of 2020. The Bank of Spain reports that this decrease is due to efforts to reduce costs within the banking industry, as well as a push to digitalize banking and payments.
When there were 61.714, ATMs, 2008 was the year with the most ATMs. This network has been gradually removed by banks since then. The same report shows that ATM usage has increased over time. The Q3-2021 report shows that 171,300 transactions were performed by Spanish citizens using ATMs. That’s an increase of 1.4% over 2020.
Digitalization is on the Rise
Spanish officials have reduced the money allowed to be paid per transaction in cash. Last year, Spain’s antifraud law, which also regulated some issues regarding cryptocurrency assets, passed controls for cash payments depending on the type of transaction. The aforementioned law established that payments in cash could only be made up to the limit of €1,000. This law can be ignored and sanctions could apply to each transaction.
According to local media, these developments may have a significant impact on rural Spanish citizens who are most dependent upon cash for their daily lives.
Recent efforts have driven increasing numbers of citizens to use digital payment systems. According to a July 2021 survey, only 35% used cash as a payment method. This is a substantial change from 2014’s payments, when 80% of the citizens paid with cash.
Despite a decline in cash usage, Spain uses cash more than Sweden and other countries that use physical paper or coins for payment.
How do you feel about Spain’s reduction of ATMs? What are your opinions on digital payments and Spanish banks allowing for them to accept it? Leave a comment below.
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