Central and Eastern Europe, one of the world's hottest markets for ATM deployments, enjoyed significant growth in 2007, according to a report from Retail Banking Research Ltd., a United Kingdom-based research and consulting firm. "The ATM market in the ... region has been growing strongly for several years, [but] in 2007 it exploded," the firm says in a statement. "High numbers of new machines in Russia, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, in addition to surprising growth in Poland and Serbia, made [2007] a bumper year." ATM deployments at the end of last year reached 119,638, up 34% from 89,501 deployments in 2006, Retail Banking Research says. The consultancy attributes the growth in ATM deployments to such independent deployers as United States-based companies Euronet Worldwide Inc. and First Data International, which is owned by First Data Corp. There is, however, a downside to the growth. The average number of monthly cash withdrawals per ATM fell in 2007 because of the higher number of ATMs deployed. "The increase in the number of installations continues to have a diluting effect on transaction volumes," Retail Banking Research says. Retail Banking Research studied 15 countries, including Kazakhstan, Estonia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine and Poland.

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