Belgium’s national rail company SNCB plans to nearly double the number of stations that have an ATM in the next two years.
There are currently 42 stations with a total of 58 automatic teller machines for dispensing cash, but that number should grow to 79 stations with 169 ATMs.
The goal is the result of a collaboration between SNCB and Batopin, the Belgian ATM Optimisation Initiative.
“This contract strengthens the position of stations as urban landmarks and such a service responds to a priority for travelers,” the railway company said in a press release.
Batopin is a partnership between four major Belgian banks developing a network of ATMs across the country, with the goal of having at least one within a radius of 5 km of the home or workplace of 95% of the Belgian population.
While commerce becomes increasingly digitised, many people - the elderly in particular - still rely on cash currency for many of their payments.
But because banks are closing more and more of their branch offices in light of this digitisation, people who need cash have to travel further and further to get it, and often pay fees.
The hope is that ATMs in train stations can meet the cash needs of these people, in particular those who live somewhere without a real city center.
Batopin’s partnership with SNCB, for a contract of 10 years, will begin on 1 October.
Batopin is a project of Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING and KBC banks for the development of an optimal network of CASH points in Belgium.