The Deputation of Zamora continues to think about the ideal formula to alleviate financial exclusion in its territory. In a province where almost 28% of the citizens do not have a fixed place to access cash without traveling, precision in the shot seems key to correct a situation that accentuates the development problems of the regions. In this context, and after evaluating different options, everything indicates that the institution will bet on the alternative of ATMs in municipal buildings, an idea that the Government team had already slipped at the end of August.
The second vice president of the Provincial Council, Jesus Maria Prada, confirmed that provincial officials have held several meetings in recent weeks to promote this path, and stated that the idea is to develop a pilot plan in 2022 to measure the usefulness and acceptance of ATMs in places such as downstairs in town halls, doctor’s offices or libraries.
Prada clarified that the decision on the region where this test will be carried out It has not yet been taken, although it did underline that it will be an area with serious problems of access to cash, which will allow the impact of this new resource to be measured more effectively.
To carry out this project, the institution intends to take advantage of Correos initiative to bring ATMs to unpopulated areas “For a fairly reasonable price.” As Prada explained, the postal service entity would facilitate the process of hiring the installation company of the financial terminal and save headaches for the Provincial Council, which would be in charge of paying for the maintenance of the ATMs in the Zamorano municipalities concerned.
In this way, the councils themselves would be in charge of applying for this new financial service, Correos would act as executing arm of the installation, hand in hand with the company in charge of the ATM, and the Provincial Council would use the subsidies route to finance a resource whose cost could be around 8,000 or 10,000 euros per year.
At the time, Prada He indicated that he had in mind the installation of multi-bank ATMs. That is, terminals so that citizens can withdraw money or update their passbook regardless of the financial institution with which they have their account. Of course, they would be forced to pay a commission for carrying out their operations, although Prada clarified that the cost would be “very minimal for users” of the service.
It remains to be seen what that approach remains, as it will also be necessary to clarify which municipalities will benefit. Prada clarified in August that it is unfeasible to reach the 509 population centers that the province has. Therefore, the Deputation addressed the creation of a map to indicate which towns have a bank and which have lost it in recent years. The latter should be the main target of this initiative, although the idea is to cover, in general, “the needs of intermediate populations.”
The library bus route, parked
While the alternative of municipal buildings is gaining momentum, that of bibliobuses is deflating. The Provincial Council had valued this possibility when verifying that Salamanca had modified some of these vehicles that run through rural areas to provide them with a terminal that would also carry cash to the towns.
However, the provincial institution found quite a few technical difficulties to undertake this project, including some pitfalls to find companies willing to intervene in the library buses. This circumstance leaves the idea on hold for the moment.