Volumatic offers advice to businesses as yet more Bank branches close
19 July 2023
Last week saw one of the UK’s top five banking groups, NatWest announce the closure of 140 branches throughout the rest of this year and into 2024, and with many more groups, including Lloyds, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland following suit, these closures show no signs of stopping anytime soon, despite many businesses and consumers still wanting and relying on in-person banking services.
With the trend for digital and online banking having gained momentum over the last 20 years, and footfall to banks dropping considerably as a result, it was only to be expected that some bank branches around the UK would close their doors. But in recent years, most of the major banks are now opting to close more and more local bank branches which are especially vital to rural communities.
A recent study found that just over 5,700 bank or building society branches have closed their doors since 2015, which equates to around 54 branches closing every month – meaning both access to cash and regular banking services is now diminishing at an alarming rate.
While some measures are being put in place to help both businesses and consumers retain access to banking facilities, including a new law (The Financial Services & Markets Bill) that protects access to cash being announced in the May 2022 Queen’s Speech, and businesses like the Post Office partnering with banks to provide much-needed facilities such as paying in cash and cheques, cash withdrawals and checking your account balance, there is still a decision for many businesses to be made on how to adjust to losing a reliable commodity that has always been there.
When looking at how businesses should tackle the worsening situation, it seems most are left with just three options when losing their local bank or building society branch:
- Travel to your next nearest branch to do your banking or locate your nearest banking hub – which for some may be a short drive, but for others could be many miles out of their way. The South-East, North-East and Scotland have been particularly badly affected, with research carried out by Newcastle Building Society showing that some people in the UK are having to make a round trip of more than an hour to visit their nearest branch.
- Use the banking facilities at your nearest Post Office branch – while this has been a lifesaver for many communities over recent months, figures revealed this week show that cash transactions at Post Offices totalled a staggering £3.35 billion in June 2023, and are growing exponentially month-on-month, triggering fears that it won’t be long until the Post Office are under strain themselves from the demands of both businesses and consumers that are currently reliant on their additional banking services.
- Bring the bank to your business! Invest in intelligent technology for your business that offers collaboration with your Cash in Transit (CiT) provider and invest in a CiT provider who can offer banking services, meaning you no longer physically need to go to your bank.
Evaluating the best option for your business
With time being of the essence for most businesses in the current climate, making a long journey to your next nearest bank or waiting in queues at the Post Office isn’t a productive use of time, plus there is an obvious security risk to both your money and the person taking it to consider.
As industry leaders, cash handling experts Volumatic believe option three is the most viable for any business – and that’s where they can help.
Volumatic offers a range of cash handling solutions, with their crown jewel being the CounterCache intelligent (CCi), an all-in-one solution that validates, counts and stores your cash securely at POS, and with our upgraded CashView Enterprise software and its suite of intelligent apps, it can offer a full end-to-end cash management solution.
It does this by providing web service integration with other 3rd party applications. Volumatic currently works with all the UK’s major CiT companies, and UK banks process over 3 million CCi pouches each year, all of which can provide accelerated credit to your accounts.
Volumatic’s Sales & Marketing Director, Mike Severs is realistic about what the future holds for banking facilities and is urging businesses to act now to protect themselves in this worsening crisis.
He says: “While the Post Office have provided an absolute lifeline to everyone, making up the shortfall caused by all the banking closures, and providing a more local banking hub that saves a long journey, the reality is that as more people switch to use these services, queues are getting bigger, transactions are taking longer and for those running a business, they just don’t have that time to waste – especially with all the additional pressures of an already tough cost-of-living crisis.”
“Volumatic recommends that businesses effectively bring the bank to them through an investment in technology like the CCi that can offer both integration with your CiT provider which opens more options for traditional banking services. This technology will make their cash handling more efficient and more secure from day one and the return on investment is extremely compelling – and they won’t need to be concerned about further bank closures either.”