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  • 13 August 2003 09:58

Survey reveals a nation of spenders are left red-faced without cash

Australian shoppers consider shops, supermarkets, restaurants and being on a first date as the most embarrassing moments to be short of cash, according to an independent survey. The survey also revealed the places that people would most like to see ATMs installed and non-cash services consumers wish they could get from an ATM.

For further information please contact Skye Eggleton or Graham White from Howorth Communications on 02 9904 4533 or

ATM Survey Shows People Want Easy Access to Cash

Independent research assesses consumers’ opinions on non-cash related ATM services and convenience banking

Sydney – Being caught short of cash in a shop or a supermarket is considered as the most embarrassing moment to run out of money, according to an independent survey carried out for NCR Australia.

The survey, conducted by Newspoll, covered 1200 people nation-wide. It revealed the worst red-faced moments likely to be caused by a cash shortage; places that people would most like to see ATMs installed; and the non-cash products and services consumers wish they could get from an ATM.

Red-Faced Moments

The survey showed that 25 per cent of those polled would find it most embarrassing to run out of cash in a shop or supermarket. Rejection of a credit-card transaction and the lack of ready cash on one’s person came in as the number two reason for embarrassment, with an 18 per cent response. This was followed closely by 16.7 per cent of the respondents saying that being caught short of cash in a restaurant or on a first date would be most embarrassing.

Significantly, four times the number of men as opposed to women admitted that finding themselves without sufficient funds on a first date would be their most embarrassing moment – of this, some 39 per cent were under 24-year olds. Another 10.5 per cent considered that running out of cash when it came to their turn to shout a round of drinks would be their most embarrassing moment.

Preferred Locations

When asked which locations would be the most convenient to access cash from ATMs, in addition to where they are presently installed, 91 per cent said shops or supermarkets. Petrol stations and weekend markets were also seen as popular locations, with 71 per cent and 53 per cent of those polled respectively. Nearly 53 per cent would even like to see ATMs in post offices. Forty four per cent thought that hospitals would be good locations for ATMs. Surprisingly, just 43 per cent opted for ATMs to be installed in night-clubs, bars or pubs, which suggests that these venues are increasingly providing ATM facilities for their patrons.

Justin Corles, Vice-President, Asia Pacific, Financial Services Division, said: “ATMs have already moved from banks to stores and clubs and pubs, but this research highlights the huge demand from consumers for ready access to their cash in many more locations.

“New, smaller non-bank ATMs mean cash can be made available to consumers in the least expected, but most welcome, places. And because the ATMs are web-enabled and capable of dispensing much more than cash than previously, people could use it for a range of additional services.”

What else do we want from an ATM?

The survey identified strong consumer demand for several non-cash ATM services. Almost 72 per cent of those polled said they would find it useful to purchase travel tickets from an ATM. The choice of being able to purchase tickets to a range of events and the cinema drew 63 per cent of the vote.

The ability to get access to local area information, such as maps, also attracted a good response with 59 per cent. Top-ups for pre-paid mobile phones were next at 55 per cent. Of those in favour of this service, 77 per cent were under 24-year-olds. Fifty four per cent would like to get discounts for products they buy at stores from an ATM.

The survey coincided with a recent report from the Reserve Bank of Australia, which said that Australia had more than 16,000 ATMs in June 2002, up from fewer than 9,000 in 1997.

Notes to Editors:

The Newspoll survey was commissioned by NCR and was conducted by telephone over the period of 11-13 July 2003. A total of 1200 individuals were interviewed by telephone during this period with an equal male/female breakdown. The survey was conducted across six states excluding Northern Territory.

Full copies of the NCR research are available upon request. For further information please contact Skye Eggleton or Graham White at Howorth Communications on +61 2 9904 4533 or Mervyn Jeremiah at NCR on +61 2 9964 8103.

About NCR Corporation NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leading global technology company helping businesses build stronger relationships with their customers. NCR’s ATMs, retail systems, Teradata® data warehouses and IT services provide Relationship Technology™ solutions that maximize the value of customer interactions. Based in Dayton, Ohio, NCR ( employs approximately 29,500 people worldwide.

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NCR, NCR EasyPoint, NCR FastLane, NCR RealPOS, NCR RealPrice, NCR RealScan, NCR RealSolutions and Teradata are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.


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