Banks in Belgium are moving away from their traditional branch network, just as we are seeing in Australia. Newsagency businesses in Belgium are set to offer traditional bank branch based services, according to a report in The Brussels Times:
Belgian banking will soon be done at the newsagent
Thursday, 24 June 2021
As traditional banks move away from brick and mortar stores, a new solution is looking to ensure that customers can still do their banking needs in newsagents across Belgium.
The new project, launched by BNP Paribas subsidiary Nickel, would make it possible to open an account, deposit or withdraw money in newsagents in Belgium.
According to the company, around 1,400 outlets and 300,000 potential customers are expected when the plan launches in 2022.
The company has agreed with the Belgian press retailers’ federations to offer banking operations in bookshops. Such a concept already exists in France and has 2.1 million customers.
Independent newsagents welcomed this additional service at a time when their traditional business is declining, Belga reports.
Plenty of Australian newsagents had and have experience running a bank, building society or credit union branch in-store. Usually, it has been good business. But, here in Australia, the financial institutions have been retreating from this agency model.
Licenced Post Offices, often in newsagency businesses, offer banking services.
While the move in Belgium is interesting. I am not sure Australian banks would make that move. They appear to be less interested in any form of face to face contact than ever before. When I asked my own bank about how we are supposed to handle over the counter deposits, the manager said get your customers to pay by card. They didn’t smile or flinch. They meant it.