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Why Are ATMs Disappearing at an Alarming Rate after a Wave of Branch Closures?

为什么自动取款机以惊人的速度消失?一大波银行分支机构关闭

Banks are curtailing “cash services.” But why?

银行正在削减“现金服务”。但是为什么呢?



In Australia, banks are reducing ATMs by about 8% a year. In the UK, ATMs — or cashpoint machines, as they’re termed locally — are disappearing at a rate of around 300 per month, leaving consumers in rural areas struggling to access cash, according to a new report by the consumers’ association, Which? The rate of closures has increased sixfold in the period from November 2017 to April this year from a steady pace of 50 per month since 2015.

在澳大利亚,银行每年减少大约8 %的自动取款机。根据消费者协会的一份新报告,在英国,自动取款机——或称现金柜员机——正在以每月300台左右的速度消失,这使得乡村地区的消费者很难获得现金。2017年11月至今年4月期间,关闭速度从2015年以来的每月50起稳步增长,已经增加了六倍。

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It’s all part of a broad trend. Bank branches are increasingly becoming so-called “customer advisory points,” where the primary role of branch staff is to sell customers a myriad financial products, many of them costly and/or risky, while curtailing the cash services they offer customers.

这都是大趋势下的小波澜。银行支行越来越成为所谓的“客户咨询点”,支行员工的主要职责是向客户销售各种金融产品,其中许多产品成本高昂,而且或许风险较大,因而这就削弱了他们为客户提供的现金服务。

Spain’s fourth largest lender, part state-owned Bankia, went so far as to remove all cash services from select branches (including my local branch), forcing customers to travel further afield to another branch that still offers cash services, or withdraw or deposit cash at the ATM. But those, too, are becoming increasingly scarce.

西班牙第四大银行,部分国有参股的Bankia银行,甚至取消了部分支行(包括我们当地的支行)的所有现金服务,迫使客户不得不前往更远的另一家仍提供现金服务的支行,或者在自动取款机上提取或存入现金。但是这些也变得越来越稀缺。

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Harry Rose, of Which?, said:

他们当中的一员,哈利·罗斯说:

“These cuts could see millions of people who rely on cash in their daily lives struggling through these closures — with severe consequences for many communities and businesses. The impact is already clear — with machines closing at a frightening pace.”

“这些(自动取款机的)削减可能会让数百万依赖现金的人,在银行分支机构的关闭潮中日常生活将颇为挣扎——这给许多社区和企业带来严重后果。影响已经很明显了——机器正以惊人的速度在关闭。”

LINK defends the move by arguing that its own data on ATM usage reveals a drop in cash use. But others contend that cash usage in the U.K. remains more prent than LINK claims, citing statistics from the 2017 Association of Convenience Stores report which show that between April 2016 and April 2017 76% of transactions in 55,000 convenience stores across the country were still made using cash.

LINK为这一举动辩护说,他们自己的自动取款机使用数据显示现金使用量在下降。但其他人认为,英国的现金使用情况仍然比LINK声称的更普遍,他们引用了2017年便利店协会报告的统计数据,该报告显示,2016年4月至2017年4月,全国55000家便利店的76 %的交易使用的仍然是现金。

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In the wake of the outage, as well as an IT meltdown at mid-sized lender TSB that left millions of customers locked out of their online accounts, people in the UK are apparently stashing more cash at home, according to a new survey by GoCompare Home Insurance. A quarter of the survey’s respondents said they now keep more cash in their house in case similar payment system failures happen again.

GoCompare 家庭保险公司的一项新调查显示,在停电事故以及中型贷款机构TSB的IT系统崩溃导致数百万客户被拒之门外之后,英国人显然在家里存放了更多现金。四分之一的受访者表示,他们现在将更多现金留在家里,以防类似的支付系统故障再次发生。

The irony is that while many British consumers may have rediscovered the benefits of having some cash on hand following the dramatic events of this summer, actually getting hold of the stuff is likely to get a lot more difficult in the future as more and more branches and ATMs are shuttered. The same goes for Spain, Australia and a host of other countries.

讽刺的是,尽管在今年夏天的戏剧性事件之后,许多英国消费者可能已经重新发现了手头有一些现金的好处,但随着越来越多的分支机构和自动取款机的关闭,实际上拿到这些东西可能会变得更加困难。西班牙、澳大利亚和许多其他国家也是如此。