ATMs break down more often than agreed, cash is hard to come by

Photo: Odi Busman

One in 20 ATMs in the Netherlands was broken at some point last month, and that is far more than had been agreed when the banks switched to a joint system, broadcaster NOS said on Friday.

Geldmaat, which runs the cash point machines on behalf of the big banks has admitted that the 2023 target of 2.5% will be difficult to reach. The target was not hit in 2022 either.

“We have been confronted with a lot of situations we did not see coming,” Geldmaat spokeswoman Peggy Corstens told NOS. In particular, a shortage of spare parts is causing problems, she said.

The problem is particularly an issue in rural areas, where people are sometimes forced to travel long distances to find an ATM that works. The banks and government have agreed that everyone should have access to a cash machine at no more than five kilometres from home.

The finance ministry told NOS is working on legislation that will force banks to improve the availability of ATMs. Ten years ago, around half of all payments in the Netherlands were cash transactions but this has now fallen to 20%.

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