• Kyodo

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Japan’s three megabanks are considering the joint management and development of ATMs to cut costs and boost profitability, as they are currently struggling in the extremely low interest rate environment, a source close to the matter said Friday.

MUFG Bank Ltd., Mizuho Bank Ltd. and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. expect demand for ATMs to reduce due to the spread of online banking. The banks are seeking to discourage the use of cash by cutting down on the approximately 20,000 machines they collectively run in the country, the source said.

Currently the three banks develop and operate their ATMs separately, and their bankbooks — which can be used to conduct transactions at the machines — differ.

The envisaged services offered by jointly-operated ATMs are expected to be simplified, with the ability to physically record transaction records on bankbooks removed.

The banks plan to start replacing older machines with the new ATMs within a few years and will focus on those near train stations and where commercial operations overlap, the source said.

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