Fino Payments Bank has the largest number of micro ATMs in India

  • Micro PLCs were the fastest growing payment infrastructure in FY22, according to a report by ICICI Securities.
  • MicroATMs are portable devices that enable banking transactions including cash deposit, withdrawal and funds transfer using debit or RuPay cards.
  • Interestingly, while digital payments grew rapidly, cash circulation also increased to 14% in FY21 from 8% in FY17.

While fast digital payments through apps such as Google Pay, Phone Pay, UPI-led PayTM are growing rapidly, it is interesting to note that cash in circulation has also increased over the past couple of years.

Among various withdrawal instruments, micro ATMs were the fastest growing payment infrastructure in FY22, according to a report by ICICI Securities. In fact, the deployment of micro ATMs has exceeded the growth of cards, ATMs.

“The decline in commercial viability, especially in rural parts of India, and the growing acceptance of mATM has led most players to opt for building a mATM network over a traditional ATM” , says the report.

Cash withdrawals via micro ATMs grew by 33% to reach ₹285 billion in April 2022. Meanwhile, micro ATM roll-out jumped 93%, followed by prepaid cards at 45%.

What is a Micro ATM?
A micro ATM is like a mini version of an ATM. MicroATMs are portable devices that enable banking transactions including cash deposit, withdrawal and funds transfer using debit or RuPay cards.

Fino Payments Bank, 4, is the dominant player in the sector
Fino Payments Bank, which markets itself as the “digital banking partner” of hard-working Indians, is the most dominant player in MATMs with a 38% market share of the total number of devices deployed. It is followed by the Mauritian lender SBM Bank India with a market share of 23%.

Fino’s share in micro ATMs is higher than the top 16 banks like HDFC Bank, SBI, Kotak, IDFC.

Yes Bank, however, has an 11% market share in this space – and the only leading bank to exploit this opportunity.

“SBM Bank of India, Yes Bank, NSDL Payment Bank and City Union Bank have aggressively exploited the mATM space for the past 12 months,” the report said.

Micro ATM transactions stood at ₹3 trillion, growing 18% in FY22. Micro ATM device networks grew at a robust CAGR of 70%, while at During the same period, ATM networks grew by a mere 3% since March 2020.

“Notably, unlike the credit market, fintechs and relatively small banks like Fino SBM Bank India, NSDL Payment Bank and City Union dominate the mATM space. The combined market share of the top 5 players stood at 82% as of April 22,” the report states.

Cash remains an important payment method despite the growth of digital payments

As digital payments become increasingly popular, cash also remains an important mode of payment in everyday transactions.

Data shows that in the United States and South Korea, cash in circulation (as a % of GDP) increased to 9.5% and 7.6%, respectively, in 2020 (from 7.6% and 5 .2% in 2015). Malaysia and Thailand have also seen an increase in cash in circulation.

India is the second highest in terms of cash in circulation to GDP ratio in 2020, followed by Thailand, Russia and the United States.

“As a result of the pandemic, cash withdrawals in India decreased by 13% to 28.9 trillion in FY21. However, with economies returning to a normal pace, cash transactions from low value are expected to rise again,” the report said.

India remains a cash economy, hence cash in circulation to GDP has reached 14%, higher than before demonetization. However, nearly 47% and 40% of households do not have access to bank branches and ATMs, respectively, within 2 km of their homes.

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