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Hungarians use ATMs less, but for more money

The establishment of new ATMs by banks is slowing parallel with decreasing use of the money dispensers, figures from the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) show.

From 2004 through 2008, the number of ATMs grew by 40.3% in Hungary to 4,623 from 3,296, but the pace slowed to near 4% since then. At the end of Q2 2010 there were 4,806 ATMs working in Hungary.

People withdrew cash from ATMs 114.4 million times in 2004 and 130.7 million times in 2008, but only 126.4 million times in 2009. First half figures from 2010 -- 62.1 million withdrawals -- suggest a further, however slower, drop last year.

At the same time, the amounts withdrawn from ATMs grew 40.5% to HUF 5.72 trillion in 2008 from HUF 4.071 trillion in 2004, and dropped to HUF 5.464 trillion in 2009. First half figure of 2010 -- HUF 2.706 trillion -- also show a slight further drop.

The results can only partly be explained by the economic crisis -- another reason is the growth of bank card payments in shops. The number of card payments grew each year ever since 2004, even during the crises of 2008 and 2009, to 184.9 million in 2009 from 70.8 million in 2004. Growth only slowed to 11.6% in 2009 from 22.5% in 2008.

Turnover of card payments in shops grew to HUF 1.436 trillion in 2009 from HUF 637 billion in 2004. The pace slowed to 3.9% in 2009 from 16.3% in 2008. The amount registered from the first half of last year -- HUF 717 billion -- suggests stagnation last year.

Card payment's increasing popularity is showed by the fact that the average card payment in shops was HUF 9,000 in 2004, HUF 8,700 in 2008 and HUF 7,500 last year. (MTI – Econews)