The greatest independent ATM network was founded in Hungary by two Americans
The greatest independent ATM network was founded in 1994 in Hungary by two Americans. At that time, ATMs were quite rare in Eastern and Central Europe. The company has made more than 5 billion dollars of interest. Despite the increasing popularity of electronic payment, the ATM market is still skyrocketing, according to Porfolio.hu.
Euronet was found in 1994 by two brothers-in-law, Dan Henry and Mike Brown. This was the enterprise that operated bank-independent ATMs. Since then, they have grown to be one of the largest services in Budapest.
They have begun with only one ATM. Now they have 5600 employees in 49 countries, operating 26,000 ATMs and 143,000 POS terminals. Their prepaid networks consist of 657,000 POS terminals in 303,000 shops, in 34 countries. Their money-transferring network has 317,000 locations in 150 countries, and the business completes 27 billion dollars’ worth of transfers annually for customers not having bank accounts.
3 years after the foundation in Hungary, the company got to Nasdaq, and the value of their shares increased by a third in the past year.
Euronet finished the second quarter this year with 536,600,000 dollars of income. Roughly a third of Euronet’s income comes from the ATMs, the rest is provided by prepaid POS and money transfer. Their ATM business has increased greatly last year: 44 percent more ATMs are in operation, which is due to the buying-in of YourCash’s 4,873 ATMs, and the expansion in Europe and India.
The enterprise owns an enormous amount of cash, because their ATMs are filled with their own money: the company had 1.065 billion dollars of cash by the end of the last quarter.
The company has relatively little profit from Hungary, but their presence in the country cannot be ignored. They operate 420 independent ATMs in Budapest and the bigger cities of Hungary. 8 percent of the Hungarian ATMs belong to Euronet. They also operate multiple bigger banks’ own ATM networks. They are responsible for the Erzsébet voucher plus system. Euronet’s Hungarian units produced almost 50 million euros last year.
They work in two basic business models: the operator demands a minor fix price for withdrawals in the case of priced ATMs, or they receive commission from the flow between banks in the case of free ATMs.
According to the financial forecasts, an increase can be expected in the ATM market, driven by the developing world. However, there might be a stalemate in the developed world, the number of ATMs even decreased in Europe by 6 percent between 2010 and 2016.
At the beginning of the 2000s, the number of ATMs per one thousand people grew rapidly in Romania, Ukraine and Serbia. This rate was twice as high in Hungary, and five times higher compared to Austria in 2004. By now, Romania and Serbia surpassed Hungary in this sense. Now the market increase slowed somewhat down.
Hungary is not an exception, either, as only 5020 ATMs were in operation at the beginning of 2017.
What if cash flow stops? Well, though Hungary is interested in decreasing the cash stock, the cashless economy is still far away. On the other hand, ATMs are being abolished rapidly in the Swedish countryside since 2015. ATM manufacturers experience this tendency, and they are designing machines that have additional functions besides cash withdrawal.
Most new, modern devices can provide two important bank services — paying and withdrawing cash — non-stop at the same time. They can also activate new credit cards, check balance inquiries or banking through a video communication service.
Though electric payment spreads rapidly, cash will not disappear in the near future: even the countries with the most advanced economies still expect to use cash in 20 years. This means that ATMs will keep on functioning for a while.