Rate of new machines falls way below previous growth since first ATM in 2004
THE spread of ATMs in the Kingdom slowed to 10 percent growth last year, from 91 percent in 2008, new figures from the National Bank of Cambodia show.
The NBC annual report says that 371 ATMs are active in the Kingdom, up from 338 in 2008.
This 10 percent rise, in a year in which several new banks were launched, including Sacombank of Vietnam and State Bank of India, compares with a 91 percent annualised increase in the number of ATMs in 2008.
Stephen Higgins, CEO of ANZ Royal, said Tuesday that his bank did not install any new machines last year.
“So far, we have around 130 ATMs. We believe that the total number is about right for where Cambodia is today,” he said. “But in the last year, we did take some that weren’t being used very much and moved them into more popular areas.”
Some banks, however, have chosen to expand their operations throughout the Kingdom.
In Channy, president and CEO of ACLEDA, said Thursday that his bank installed 26 new ATMs last year, bringing its total number to 86. Of the new machines, one was installed in each of country’s 23 provinces with three additional cash outlets in Phnom Penh.
“We plan to reach 119 machines by the end of this year,” he added. In Channy explained that an ATM costs about US$30,000 to install, and that electricity shortages in rural areas have proved an obstacle to expansion.
New commercial banks launched in the last 12 months also plan to extend ATM coverage.
HwangDBS, which opened in Phnom Penh in July, has only two ATMs to cater for its 300 customers – who have received loans of $2.5million and deposited several million dollars so far, according to country head Han Penh Kwang.
“We plan to install more ATMs this year as we plan to open one or two new branches. The more ATMs we have, the more convenient our services are for customers,” he said.
Officials from the State Bank of India – though they have no plans to introduce ATMs in 2010 – are considering where expansion lies for cash machine provision.
“The future growth of this sector lies in the unbanked rural areas of Cambodia,” Ramesh Chandra Baliarsingh, State Bank of India’s chief executive in Cambodia, said Thursday.
“Too many ATMs, crowded in urban centres will strain limited resources and infrastructure available.”
Canadia Bank introduced the first ATM to the Kingdom in June 2004.