By Andy Sambidge
Supplier says region has become key market for finance self service industry.
The number of bank ATMs in the Middle East are predicted to grow by 75 percent to reach 70,000 units by 2013, an industry expert said on Tuesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of Middle East ATMs 2010, Dave Wetzel, vice president and managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) of ATM provider Diebold Incorporated, said, "With the region's banking functions becoming more sophisticated, the Middle East has emerged as an important market for the global financial self-service industry."
He said retail banking research showed the total number of ATMs in the region reaching 70,000 from the current tally of 40,000 within four years.
Wetzel was one of the keynote speakers at Middle East ATMs 2010, where he called for more action to improve ATM security.
"With ATM fraud and threats on the rise, it is imperative that financial institutions take a more proactive approach to detecting and preventing fraud attempts and attacks on their ATMs," Wetzel said.
"Ensuring a secure environment for ATM users is all the more important for emerging markets such as the Middle East, since the extent of market growth is closely linked to the level of transaction security offered to customers."
Diebold estimates that it holds around 40 percent of the total market share in the region, with most of the leading banks in the Arab world using its ATMs.