One ATM for everyone? Czech banks could soon start working together

Clients could withdraw from any ATM without paying extra fees, while the reduction in ATMs would benefit the environment. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 13.06.2022 12:04:00 (updated on 13.06.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

At Czech malls and shops, it is not uncommon to see several ATMs lined up in a row. This is because each bank has its own network. While customers can use any ATM, the fees will be different if they use one not associated with their bank.

This might start to change, as Komerční banka has started an initiative to have banks cooperate on sharing an ATM network. This would mean that there would only be a need for one ATM that customers of all participating banks could use under the same conditions as if the ATM belonged to their bank.

In addition to being more convenient for customers, it would be more sustainable and better for the environment. There would be fewer trips to service and stock the machines, as well as a reduction in electricity consumption.

“We are turning to you to do something together for all our customers and for our planet. Let’s share the ATMs! Imagine that. People would be able to withdraw from the ATM they have on hand, without extra charges. We wouldn't have to provide operations, maintenance, electricity, data connection, or security. … In short, everything that each of the four ATMs that stand side by side in a shopping mall needs, all doing the same thing,” KB stated in an advertisement.

Would you prefer to have a single network of ATMs in Czechia?

Yes 97 %
No 3 %
138 readers voted on this poll. Voting is closed

So far Moneta Money Bank has joined in. Air Bank, Česká spořitelna, and Raiffeisenbank, have expressed interest. A UniCredit Bank spokesman said the bank was open to initiatives that are friendly to clients' needs and with a positive environmental impact. On the contrary, Československá obchodní banka (ČSOB) and Fio Banka stated that they do not plan to join.

At the end of last year, KB had a 15 percent market share in the Czech Republic with 860 machines. Moneta operates 560 ATMs.

Air Bank said it wants to expand its network of 370 ATMs and began talks as soon as they were informed of the project. “Negotiations have been ongoing for some time,” Air Bank spokeswoman Jana Pokorná told the Czech News Agency (ČTK).

Česká spořitelna, which operates 1,780 ATMs, said it was open to negotiations. Raiffeisenbank said its clients can already withdraw from ATMs of any bank in the Czech Republic for free.

According to research conducted for KB, 39 percent of people consider it unnecessary to have two or more ATMs together, and 95 percent would like all ATMs to work the same for all users, regardless of which bank they belong to.

The survey, conducted at the beginning of June, showed that up to 79 percent of people consider ATM coverage in the Czech Republic to be sufficient, while 68 percent of respondents primarily use their bank’s ATM for cash withdrawals.

While 79 percent said it is important to have their bank's ATM in their area, only 28 percent think that every bank should have its own ATM.

“The results of the survey confirm our conviction that we have set out on the right path. We perceive cooperation in the area of ATM network sharing with other banks on the market as necessary not only to increase client comfort and expand services but also as another step toward a greener approach to financial management,” Jitka Haubová, member of the KB board of directors, said.

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