Another 161 new cash machines by the end of the year

The rollout of the terminals includes a pilot project at four city markets and the installation of cash machines at metro stations and newsstands. The goal is to address the lack of cash machines and the difficulty in accessing banking services in Barcelona. The number of terminals of this type has dropped by 40% since 2008.

04/01/2023 15:23 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

A pilot project was started this month in collaboration with Banco Santander, to install four cash machines at the municipal markets of Besòs, Sants, Llibertat and Sant Antoni. The terminals enable users to pay in money in cash, meaning that stallholders do not need to leave the market premises with their takings and head for the bank. Change machines for banknotes are also due to be installed.

The pilot is to last a year and will enable the feasibility of the system to be assessed. Depending on the results, the initiative will be introduced at other municipal commercial premises.

A total of 32 terminals around the metro network

TMB are also to install 11 new cash machines around various metro stations in the first half of 2023:

  • L1: Sant Andreu and Mercat Nou
  • L2: Pompeu Fabra
  • L3: Canyelles and Roquetes
  • L4: Alfons X and Trinitat Nova
  • L5: Ernest Lluch, Vall d’Hebron, El Coll – La Teixonera and Cornellà Centre

These terminals come in addition to the 21 which have been in operation on the metro network since July.

The other points in the city with terminals offering cash withdrawals will be newsstands. Sixty cash machines were installed at city newsstands in 2022 and the idea is for a further 65 to be added in 2023, bringing the total number of newsstands with cash machines to 125.

This measure to increase the number of cash machines corresponds to the strategy to address the lack of them and the difficulty in accessing banking services in Barcelona. There were 1,214 cash machines in public streets and squares in the city in 2018, while last year that figure had dropped by 40% to just 717.

Training, advice and legal changes

The strategy not only anticipates the installation of terminals, but also works to drive legislative changes and promote advice and training sessions. For instance, the Phoneline against Banking Neglect was set up in March 2022 and a consumer advice guide published for elderly people, two initiatives dependent on the Municipal Office for Consumer Information (OMIC). The phone service sought to inform and advise people about consumer rights relating to banking services and help them lodge complaints with different banking entities and the Bank of Spain. The service has assisted 854 people face-to-face and handled 1,237 calls since April 2022.

In terms of training, a series of financial education sessions for elderly people have been organised to look at the rights and duties of users and offer tips on managing money or planning decisions for the future. These sessions were attended by 400 people in all. The idea is for another 15 sessions in the first quarter of 2023.

In a similar vein, legislative changes include the presentation of amendments to the draft Act in defence of financial clients, calling for the certification of web accessibility, recognition of the capacity of the Authority for the Defence of Financial Clients to impose fines of up to 20,000 euros and all mortgage credit, and for the defence authority to include an elderly person to represent associations.

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