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Philippine ATM Landscape: 7,500 Islands, 103 Million Filipinos 19,184 ATMs

It was the first time for MegaLink to participate in the Self-service Banking Asia wherein their CEO, Ms. Jennifer M. Tantan, was invited to give a talk as one of the keynote speaker held last March 22-23, 2017 in the Makati Shangri-la Manila.

Highlights of Ms. Tantan’s speech included the current state of the ATM services and other electronic channels in the Philippines, challenges and what lies ahead for the industry.

A survey conducted by the USAID some time February to March 2016 showed that ATM card is the most trusted card instrument of Filipinos. Out of 82 million debit cards issued, only 25% are active according to a report from the ATM switch network Bancnet. As ATM is one of the oldest channels of electronic banking, it remains to be the go-to means of financial power following cash-on-hand.

Ms. Tantan shared insights on some of the factors that contribute to the inability of the industry to maximise its potential. These are consumer trust and the cost of on-boarding. Safety is both a basic and premium requirement of customers/cardholders. This could attract or lose numbers for the ATM and electronic channels market thus must be managed carefully. KYC as a measure of safety has to be played wisely; too stringent and it might cause inconvenience, too lenient and it loses its essence. Banks and other financial institutions constantly strive to enable secure and affordable products and services for customers. Furthermore, the geographical location and environmental conditions of the Philippines pose a tough endeavor to the ATM and electronic services industry in terms of establishing communications infrastructure and providing access to areas for a broader service delivery.

Ms. Tantan recommended seeking outsource ATM and electronic service providers like MegaLink as a sustainable approach in surpassing these impediments. Instead of each institution putting up its own infrastructure, shared resources and services address common requirements by aggregating and providing solutions joint amongst the users translating to a more affordable pay-per-use model.

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