Money & Banking

ATM density still low in India

| Updated on: Dec 16, 2013
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Do you often find yourself standing in queue at the ATM (automated teller machine)? Well, the reason could be there are just 25.4 machines in every 1,000 sq. km in India. This translates into 8.9 ATMs for every one lakh population, one of the lowest densities in the world, according to RBI data outlining global financial inclusion indicators for 2011.

In contrast, bank customers in China have access to 2,975 machines in the same geographical expanse, with 49.6 ATMs per one lakh population.

ATM density in China, of course, is anomalous even in comparison to more developed economies such as the UK, where ATM density stands at 261 per 1,000 sq km. But the number of ATMs per 1 lakh population is higher in the UK, at 122.8 ATMs, thanks to its significantly smaller population.

ATM density in populous Malaysia stands at 34 per 1,000 sq km, with 56.4 machines per 1 lakh population. Thailand, too, has higher ATM density.

While the density in terms of machines per 1,000 sq km is lower in countries, such as Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines, they have more machines per one lakh people owing to the lower population.

However, in terms of bank branch density, India fares better than many developing countries and even emerging economies, such as South Africa, Brazil and Indonesia. In fact, it has more branches per 1,000 sq km than the US. Bank branch density in India is 30.4 per 1,000 km, compared to just 9.6 in the US, 3.1 in South Africa and 7.9 in Brazil.

Of course, India’s mammoth population, the number of branches for every one lakh population is low, but it still trumps many of the developing countries. China ranks highest in terms of bank branch density.

Published on December 16, 2013

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