Independent ATM deployer Spark ATM Systems has recorded a 7.21% rise in cash withdrawal activity in August‚ to an average of R434.93 per transaction‚ compared with a year earlier.

This is the highest growth figure in more than two years — since the June-July 2010 Fifa World Cup period.

Spark MD Marc Sternberg said a combination of factors might have played a role in this significant year-on-year growth statistic. “The effects of the 50 basis points interest rate cut announced by the South African Reserve Bank in July may be starting to filter through in the form of higher disposable income levels among consumers.”

Sternberg said in addition‚ the “five Friday factor” in August - which historically has led to increased average cash withdrawals during the month – would have contributed to the increased year-on-year figure.

“Finally‚ there was a dramatic increase in the average value of cash withdrawals at farming sites throughout the country‚ with a year-on-year increase of 20.4% in August. Although ATMs at farming sites make up a small percentage of overall ATMs around the country‚ this increase would certainly have boosted overall ATM withdrawal values.”

However‚ Ronel Oberholzer‚ principal economist at IHS Global Insights‚ said the month-on-month decline of 0.14% in August‚ to R434.93 per transaction‚ remained worrying.

“This is the second consecutive month-on-month decline and shows consumers’ budgets remained under stress during July and August‚” Oberholzer said. - I-Net Bridge