Cash decline doesn’t call time on Dutch ATMs

Cash decline doesn’t call time on Dutch ATMs

ABN Amro, ING, Rabobank and Geldservice Nederland (GSN) have teamed up to explore a potential initiative to ensure the availability of ATMs in the Netherlands.

These discussions are being conducted in consultation with the nation’s central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), and draw upon “successful initiatives” in Sweden and Finland.

With the rise of digital banking, ATMs look to be heading the way of phone boxes. Either an eyesore or an antique, depending on your point of view. But the Dutch crew say cash must remain readily available to the public, even in times of declining usage of cash and increasing criminal activity targeting ATMs.

To carry out this noble deed, the banks plan to maintain and improve availability by transferring to GSN the ownership and operational processes of ATMs. GSN was set up in 2011 as a joint venture between ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank to provide logistical services such as cash collection, counting and distribution.

As of 2016 the banks say national coverage of the ATM network was 99.67%. But their initiative would aim to maintain, and possibly increase, this level of coverage.

One possibility being explored is to develop a dedicated brand for ATMs in the Netherlands, as in Sweden. Consumers would, for example, be able to use the closest ATM within the new network, regardless of which bank used to operate that ATM.

In addition, all new ATMs could provide similar services for clients of every bank, like access to their bank balance and providing the same cash withdrawal limitations for every client.

“For now, nothing will change for customers,” according to the banks.

Under the current schedule, a partnership agreement will be signed during the third quarter of 2017. The way in which other banks are to be involved in the initiative is now under examination.

The plans will be subject to scrutiny by the relevant regulatory authorities, such as the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM).