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Correos' rural cashpoint roll-out multiplies
23 September 2021 @ 19:43

SPAIN'S post office network has dramatically extended its plans to set up cashpoints in remote rural villages and those with no banks – from the initial 109 announced in March, Correos has announced a roll-out of another 1,500.

Many ATM machines provide crucial basic services beyond merely dispensing notes and showing current balance and recent transactions – bills can be paid by scanning the barcode or typing in the associated number, transfers can be made, even internationally, and money moved between one's own accounts, loans and credit cards or duplicate debit cards can be requested, new accounts created and, depending upon the entity, tickets for concerts, shows, sporting events and key heritage sites purchased.

All this effectively means those without internet access, or whose coverage is poor – a frequent problem in very under-populated rural parts a long distance from the nearest town – can still 'bank online', and may not need a local branch to visit in person.

The exact facilities provided by Correos' planned 1,500 cashpoints have not been confirmed, since it will depend upon which banks bid for the contract to install them now the job has been put out to tender.

Of the total, 300 ATMs will be set up in villages of between 500 and 3,000 inhabitants which do not have any bank branches, or where the only banks present have opted to shut their branches in the next few months or years.

These locations will not necessarily be remote countryside municipalities, given that the lack of any banking facilities that can be reached without using a car can still bar residents from accessing them, even if their nearest larger town is just a few kilometres away.

The rest of the cashpoints will be in the more isolated rural areas, including – and especially – those villages whose headcounts do not even reach treble figures.

ATMs will either be on the street, or inside the foyer of the local post office branch.

In the case of the latter, the bank which wins the contract will be required to pay rent on the space occupied, with the amount based upon location and a percentage of the operations carried out on them.

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