Banks have cut the number of automated teller machine (ATM) to an eight-year low of 2,393 in July, according to data released by the Central Bank of Kenya(CBK).
This is the lowest ATM count since July 2013 when the country had 2,377 machines, and the reduction reflects the growing popularity of agents, internet and mobile banking among customers as they search for convenience.
The machines that are very common in urban centres are slowly losing popularity as the digitisation of financial services in the banking sector continues to gain momentum.
“The general decrease in ATMs is as a result of adoption of mobile and digital banking in the banking industry,” CBK said in its annual banking supervisions report.
KCB, the country’s biggest bank by capital size (14.05 percent) had 399 ATMs in the country at the end of last year, down from 454 in 2019, which is a 12 percent drop.
The bank’s ATM transactions dropped by 28 percent while mobile, agent and internet transactions all rose by 28 percent, 18 percent and 82 percent, respectively.
On the flip side the value of transactions settled by use of electronic cards in the January-July period this year grew by Sh100 billion to Sh434 billion from Sh334.29 billion in the same period in 2020.
The 30 percent growth in value of deals settled by electronic cards highlights the economic recovery from the Coronavirus-induced financial hardships.
Over the seven-month period cash handled by mobile money agents grew 48 percent to Sh3.8 trillion up from Sh2.6 trillion from last year.
Kenya has slowly been easing restrictions that were imposed last year to curb spread of the coronavirus, leading to a demand for services and goods that in turn spurred the growth in the value of cash and cashless transactions in the country.