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First bank-neutral cash machines come to Belgium, including in Anderlecht

17:14 22/09/2021

The first bank-neutral cash machines have been installed, one of them in Anderlecht. Eventually these machines, sporting the simple name Bancontact, will replace all of the ATMs of Belgium’s four largest banks.

The banks – BNP Paribas, KBC, Belfius and ING – co-founded the company Batopin to develop, place and manage the new cash machines. They will eventually replace all of the four banks’ current ATMs, and any bank card can be used to get money out of them.

Six machines are now up and running, in Anderlecht (Westland Shopping Centre), Ghent, Lierneux, Stavelot, Nimy and Clavier. The idea behind the machines is to rid individual banks of the responsibility of maintaining them. Every cash machine in Belgium will be the new Bancontact kind by the end of 2024.

While many of the banks’ current ATM locations will be retained, some of them will disappear, and new locations will pop up. The company is streamlining where ATMs are located as bank customers are using cash less and less.

Consumer group Test-Achats is concerned about customers having less access to ATMs. It would like to see a moratorium on the roll-out of the new machines so the government can debate the issue. It does not want to see machines becoming few and far between.

Batopin says that the plan for locations will allow nearly 99% of all Belgians to access one of the machines within five kilometres of their home.

These will of course not be the only cash machines in the country: Other banks, such as Crelan, AXA, Argenta and bpost, have already combined their efforts to manage their network of cash machines.

Photo ©Hatim Kaghat/BELGA


Written by Lisa Bradshaw