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Bank Branches and ATMs Set To Become Extinct By 2041, New Research Reveals

  • New study compares the YoY rate of ATM and bank branch closures to determine the year in which cash focused financial services will become extinct
  • ATMs are set to disappear in just 19 years whereas bank branches will survive for another 23
  • Cash only businesses must start accepting card payments sooner rather than later

Expert Market, a B2B comparison site for card payment systems, has released new research revealing just how soon non-digital financial services such as ATM machines and bank branches will completely disappear from society.

More of us than ever before are choosing to pay by card rather than cash, resulting in a huge decline in the number of ATMs and bank branches available to consumers.

14.3 billion card payments were made in 2016, with this number expected to rise to 21.9 billion by 2026. Whilst card payments continue to grow, cash payments are rapidly declining with only 8.7 billion cash payments expected for 2026 – 43% down from 2016.

Expert Market’s study uses data from the House of Commons, and Which? to determine the average YoY decrease in the number of ATMs and bank branches in the UK. Based on projections of these averages, the study reveals the exact year in which access to cash services could cease to exist.

ATMs Extinct in Less Than 20 Years

The research reveals that ATMs are likely to decline at a rate of 3,600 a year, resulting in the disappearance of all cash machines by the year 2037 – a mere 19 years away. This reduced access to cash is already being felt by those who live in rural parts of the UK where there are fewer cash machines and a smaller number of shops readily accepting card payments. With customers’ access to cash becoming increasingly limited, local businesses may well benefit from introducing card payment options to future-proof their stores.

Bank Branches to Disappear By 2041

Though bank branches are set to weather the cashless trend longer than ATMs, they too will vanish from UK high streets by 2041. The role of banks has changed dramatically in recent years; whereas baby boomers would have had to arrange face to face meetings to start an account or get a mortgage, all these services are now available online. With most now preferring the convenience of mobile banking, the rapid decline of physical stores is inevitable.

Jared Keleher of Expert Market comments: “If the trend towards a cashless society continues at the expected pace, it’s more important than ever for people to adapt. With access to cash likely to be

extremely limited and eventually non-existent, people should get to grips with online banking as soon as possible and businesses should ensure that card machines are available at every store.”


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