Bank Branches or ATMs….which is it?

Who will win the battle?

A good friend and ex-industry colleague of mine moved out of London to a delightful part of the UK away from the bustle and rush of City life. To his irritation, he realised that on looking around his beautiful country home, green landscape,  and small and peaceful village environment, there were no bank branches within 8 to 10 miles, when wishing to withdraw cash. He explained to me that: he and his family could just about live with that scenario. Nevertheless, as an alternative choice, they were at least expecting to see one or two ATMs within their neighbourhood, and local high street; but no! Despite the growth of on-line banking and FinTech banking services, which have clearly contributed to the decline of cash transactions and withdrawals, the fact still remains that from a regulatory perspective, cash is still an agreed and required option for the consumer. Bricks and mortar of high street bank branches with paid staff may indeed be costly; but a local ATM in the wall, at a supermarket, or at any high street retail outlet, cannot be that difficult, or costly to maintain and operate …..surely?” Yes, of course the ATM needs to be replenished, and notes delivered by the nominated carrier at a price; but that is it….. isn’t it? I thought in marketing parlance “the customer is king!”  It does not seem that way anymore. It feels more like: “The Clearing Bank’s cost convenience need is king!” The excessive demise and disappearance of our High Street entities, including bank branches, Post Offices and other “cash outlets” has become inexcusable. Such social and economic issues are all about a “sense of balance.” On this matter, we have swung too far the other way!

Eliot Charles Heilpern Director of Partnerships and Co-Founder The Payments Business – 07944 547 707 – elioth@thepaymentsbusiness.com – www.thepaymentsbusiness.com

 

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