Dutch banks begin migration to shared ATM network

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Dutch banks ABN Amro, ING and Rabobank have started transferring their ATMs to the Geldmaat network in the Netherlands to address the decline of cash use among its customers, while continuing to make it available.

With cash's popularity falling in the Netherlands, the banks began working in 2017 to create a joint ATM network that would keep coverage high through an "optimized and safer" network with fewer machines.

Banks globally have been addressing a similar issue in determining how many ATMs are needed, and how to supply or recycle the cash inside of them as a cost-saving measure.

"The close collaboration and sheer hard work by many will result in an even more balanced distribution of ATMs across the country, keeping cash accessible, affordable, safe and available for all," ABN Amro's Bart van de Sande, a member of the ATM transition board, said in a Friday press release.

The first Geldmaat ATM has been placed in the Overhees shopping center in the Dutch town of Soest, kicking off a process in which the banks will become associated with the Geldmaat brand — bright yellow machines that will show up in more locations across the country over the next two years.

The Dutch banks say they are following the Swedish model of having a dedicated brand for cash machines, meaning customers would be able to use the closest ATM within the new network, regardless of which bank used to operate it previously.

The banks chose Geldmaat, formally called Geldservice Nederland, when operating as a cash logistics joint venture they set up in 2011, to operate the new network.

Geldmaat says it will reduce the number of ATMs on busy city streets as part of recasting the network to more evenly spread ATM locations based on criteria such as the number of transactions, peak times and safety.

The banks will operate on the basic premise that, in sparsely populated areas, a cash machine should be available within a radius of five kilometers, or just more than three miles.

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ATMs Cash The Netherlands