A Cape Town-based operator hopes to close deals soon that will see it rolling out ATMs for several new banks entering the market.

Spark ATM Systems recently concluded a deal with retail group Massmart to install 381 ATMs in its stores.

Spark ATM MD Marc Sternberg said more deals like the one it concluded with Massmart, which runs the Game, DionWired and Makro chains, are on the cards, as it is in negotiation with “several of the new banking groups”.

Medical aid group Discovery and the Michael Jordaan-backed Bank Zero will offer banking services in the next few months, but will need a network of ATMs with a national footprint to dispense cash.

Spark ATM already has a network of about 3,800 ATMs, which it runs on behalf of other banks, around SA, but this figure is shooting up with the group rolling out 100 new ATMs a month.

Sternberg said retail chains and petrol companies wanting ATMs for service stations are driving deployments, as they see them as a way to get “secure foot traffic” into their businesses. These businesses also gain by charging Spark ATM rent for placing the machines. 

Spark ATM was bought by Nasdaq-listed Cardtronics, the world’s largest ATM operator with 230,000 cash machines globally, for an undisclosed amount in January 2017.

Cardtronics CEO Edward West is optimistic about the prospects for the group’s SA operations. “We continue to see significant growth in our Germany, Spain and SA businesses,” he said.

The group’s expansion is also supported by the underpenetration of ATMs in SA. According to the World Bank, SA comes in at 45 out of 176 countries and  territories ranked by number of ATMs per 100,000 adults.