By Kayode Tokede, Lagos
About 12 commercial banks deployed 12,621 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) across the country in 2016, investigations by LEADERSHIP Sunday have shown.
Commercial banks have continued to deploy ATMs at branches and strategic locations across the country to boost electronic banking income.
Further investigation revealed that First Bank of Nigeria Holdings Plc has the highest ATMs, followed by United Bank for Africa Plc and Access Bank Plc.
Information exclusively obtained by our correspondent revealed that First Bank of Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of First Bank of Nigeria Holdings, maintained 15 per cent of the total banking sector ATM network in the country with 2779 ATMs.
In the Tier-One bank category, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) has the lowest ATM. According to the information, First Bank’s total value of cash dispensed by ATMs in 2016 to both customers and other banks’ customers was N2.6trillion, an increase of 23 per cent growth from N2.1 trillion dispensed in 2015.
United Bank for Africa is serving over 14million customers, through 1,000 branches and customer touch points, 1,750 ATMs and 13,500 Point of Sales (PoS).
With 1,564 ATMs in 2016, Access Bank is placed in the third position, followed by Zenith Bank Plc that has 1,395 operational ATMs across the country.
According to LEADERSHIP Sunday investigations, GTBank has 1,165 ATMs, with over 8.3 million customers, 224 branches and 46 Electronic-branches. This implies that GTBank in 2016 was operating one ATM per 7,124 customers.
In the Tier-II banks category, Wema Bank plc followed by Unity Bank Plc had the lowest ATMs deployed across the country.
Wema Bank has 270 ATMs, while Unity Bank, 311 ATMs. Diamond bank, the strongest Tier-II bank has 1,054 active ATMs, with over 15,092 PoS, the highest in the banking industry.
The bank ATM transaction count hit 58 million in 2016, with over N1 billion income earned in 2016.
Chief executive officer of Diamond Bank, Mr. Uzoma Dozie, said the bank will continue to improve on mobile banking and ATM transactions as concerted efforts are being made to move more people to digital channels. “This has positive implications for cost and non-interest revenues”, he said.
Others are Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, with 800 ATMs; First City Monument Bank, 770 ATMs; Sterling Bank Plc, 776 ATMs and Fidelity Bank, 757 ATMs.
A finance expert who did not want his name in print said most banks have stopped deploying ATMs to offsite (outside the branch) locations. He argued that deploying ATMs to offsite locations is a very expensive project which most banks are reluctant to get involved in during this period of recession.
Hitherto, the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Scheme (NIBSS) report revealed that 17,594 ATMs are deployed by commercial banks operating in the country as at first quarter of 2017.
NIBSS, in its industry report, had said that the ATMs Total Transaction volume in first quarter of 2017 was 179 million, while total transaction value within the same period closed at N1.5 trillion.
However, NIBSS had disclosed 17,398 total number of ATMs in 2016, with about 607 million total transaction volume between January and December 2016. NIBSS further said N4.9 trillion total Transaction value was recorded in 2016.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had pegged required number of banking and payment facility at 60,000 units for effective financial inclusion.
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By Kayode Tokede, Lagos