France has seen the number of ATMs drop by 5.3% between 2015 and 2018, according to the Banque de France, which is undertaking an Access to Cash review. At the end of 2018, there were 52,696 ATMs in France – down from 55,629 at the end of 2015, mosytly due to the closure of bank branches. This represents 815 ATMs per million inhabitants, slightly below the European average of 846 ATMs. According to the central bank, there is no overall issue with ATM distribution as 99% of the population can reach an ATM in less than 15 minutes by car. But there is a risk that remote and rural communities may face a “bank desertification”. There are frequent reports in the French media, of small towns petitioning against the closure of the local ATM.
Brink’s France is lauching a new ATM solution whereby it installs and operates an ATM and charges a fee to the municipality. The cost is estimated at €1,500 per month but can be lower depending on the number of withdrawals. To reduce costs Brink’s is offering basic ATMs with a simple cash-out function.
The first unit was installed in July 2019 in Brittany, in western France. According to the town mayor, «The instalation of a cash dispenser helps strengthen the dynamism of localbusinesses. It attracts people. Cash will not go away tomorrow.»