TAIPEI (CNA) – The number of automated teller machines (ATMs) in Taiwan has increased this year to 27,866, shrinking the total ratio of people to one machine, according to data released Tuesday by the state-owned Financial Information Service Co. (FISC).
As of the end of August, there were 27,866 ATMs around Taiwan, compared with 27,240 at the end of December last year, the data showed. The August figure translates into one ATM per 843 persons in a population of 23.50 million, according to the FISC data. As of the end of 2016, the ATM density was one per 863 persons, the statistics showed.
Currently, about 74 percent of the ATMs — 20,808 units — are located in Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, the six major cities in the country, the FISC said.
The capital Taipei has the highest number of ATMs at 5,488, which puts its ATM density at one per 493 people, followed by New Taipei with 4,685 units, and together they account for about 36 percent of the total throughout the country, the FISC said. Taichung has 3,100 ATMs, Kaohsiung 2,882, Taoyuan 2,748 and Tainan 1,905, the statistics showed.
Apart from the six major cities, Changhua County is the only metropolis that has more than 1,000 ATMs, the FISC said, showing the total at 1,008 units. Taiwan first began installing public ATMs in January 1987, and in 2004 the number went past 20,000 units for the first time, reaching 21,449.
Since then, the number of ATMs has continued to increase, which Chen Yen-yi (陳妍沂), chief secretary of the FSC’s Banking Bureau, said was an indication that many people were still using primarily cash for payments.
He said the FSC has been encouraging banks to provide better ATM services by replacing their older machines with new ones that have both withdrawal and deposit functions. In addition, the FSC has been pushing for tighter security with regard to ATM transactions, he said. •
By Tasi Yi-chu and Frances Huang
A woman withdraws money from an ATM from an unknown location on Aug. 12, 2017. According to the Financial Information Service, there were 27,866 ATMs around Taiwan at the end of August 2017. (NOWnews file photo)