You might have come across the term ‘ATM pooling’ before as last year four major Belgian banks signed an agreement to jointly manage a single network of ATMs under a neutral brand named Batopin.
Its first bank-neutral ATMs are due to be installed any time soon, with the complete deployment expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
Participating banks aim to ensure that 95% of the population has access to an ATM within 5 km of their home or workplace.
What is ATM pooling?
It is an established alternative to providing access to cash in Finland and Sweden, where in 2011, five of Sweden’s largest banks (Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Nordea, SEB and Swedbank) announced they were transferring ownership of their ATMs to a separate company, Bankernas Automatbolag, that will operate ATMs on their behalf.
This initiative follows similar developments in Finland, where all bank ATMs have been operated by a single outsourcing organisation since the mid-1990s.
Or in Netherlands where the three largest banks are currently in the process of transferring their ATMs to the Geldmaat network, a cooperation between three major banks to guarantee the availability and accessibility of cash for their combined customers.
The migration is expected to be completed this summer, with neutrally branded ATMs located away from any bank branches as a rule.
It is worth noting that the Netherlands is one of the least cash dependent countries in Europe, which has made it easier for major Dutch banks to reach a pooling agreement. As a matter of fact, it is easier in small markets with a limited number of ATM deployers.
ATM pooling is when two or more banks agree to hand over the ownership of their ATM fleet to a separate entity, which will solely operate them. The drivers might be cost pressures, reduced profitability in the ATM channel, as well as “over supply” where ATMs are located closely together and competing for limited business.
Banks who are part of this will have access to an increased network, enjoy lower costs, and more opportunities to commercialise the offering with increased services available through ATMs.
Pooling allows banks to ensure that widespread cash services are maintained for the future, especially to customers in locations where relatively low demand would render a branch or multiple bank ATMs uneconomical, in an efficient and cost-effective way.
Auriga is a specialist provider of innovative omnichannel solutions to banks and other financial institutions.
Our solutions are founded on modern architectures and facilitate the rapid deployment of new distribution channels and services while lowering costs and building long-term competitive advantage.