Expatica news

Banks pledge more access to cash machines

2 February 2005

BRUSSELS – Belgium’s banks have finally pledged to co-operate to give customers proper access to cash machines.

The Belgian media reported on Wednesday that banks are to let all customers –  regardless of who they bank with – use the ‘self bank’ machines inside their branches, as well as the Bancontact/Mister Cash ATMs outside.

Last year, payment systems operator Banksys again criticised the banks for leaving about 60 areas of Belgium without access to an ATM and for reserving access to their various ‘self banks’ for their own customers.

There are currently 6,258 self banks in Belgium.

Banksys said the number of ATMs that all bank customers could use – as well as tourists with foreign bank cards – was falling every year.

After discussions on the problem, the banks have finally agreed with Banksys to implement the new system from 1 July.

However, the banks say changing the software in the self-bank machines to ensure they can accept other banks’ cards could take some time.

Fortis, for instance, says it could take the rest of the year to make the change.

All banks have signed up to having their cash machines ready by 1 January 2007.

They have also promised to “look for a solution” for neighbourhoods with too few ATMs.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news