Gold Dispensing ATMs Debut in China

The machines are made in Germany, but they’re being imported to meet strong Chinese demand for gold. The rare metal is the traditional fallback investment when economic forecasts are troublesome.

The machine prices gold at latest market quotes, which are automatically updated every 10 minutes, then dispenses it. There is a selection of shapes and sizes, and consumers can choose to pay with cash or an ATM card.

The company behind the Gold ATM is the Gongmei Gold Group.

[Zheng Ruixiang, Board Director, Beijing Gongmei Group]:
“After the outbreak of the international financial crisis, everybody in China became very keen to purchase and invest in gold. Under these circumstances, the traditional ways of selling gold cannot satisfy the demand.”

Gongmei expects the gold ATM to be extremely popular, and plans to install 2,000 of these machines in banks and high-end hotels over the next two years—the first batch will be installed over the next two weeks.

Gold prices rose nearly 30 percent in 2010, and have soared to record highs this year, with the precious metal up 14 percent so far in 2011.