For members


How to get cash out in Spain when there are no ATMs

Withdrawing cash has become much harder in Spain recently due to bank closures and the removal of ATMs, so how can you get your hands on cash without an ATM?

Getting cash out in Spain
How to get hold of cash in Spain. Photo: Niek Verlaan / Pixabay

The problem in Spain is widespread and the Bank of Spain has warned that almost three percent of the Spanish population, around 1.3 million people, struggle to get their hands on legal tender.

This is because since the Covid-19 pandemic began, Spanish banks have closed hundreds of their branches and 2,200 of their ATMs across the country.

READ ALSO: Spanish banks’ ATMs are disappearing or being replaced: What you need to know

This means that there are currently 48,300 cajeros (ATMs in Spanish), levels not seen since 2001.

This is all part of a huge shift toward digital banking services, however for many, particularly the elderly and those in rural Spain, it creates a big problem in being able to get hold of cash.

The good news however is that there are lots of solutions that have already been put in place and more plans that are in the pipeline.

READ ALSO: How rural Spain is rebelling against rampant bank closures

Library buses with ATMs

In early 2021, the Salamanca Provincial Council created a system that incorporated ATMs into the library buses, so that the local rural population could take out cash when they borrowed a book.

Valladolid has also invested in five public ATMs and has installed them centres where they had been withdrawn years ago.

Agreements between banks and post offices

Banco Santander came up with its own potential solution when it sealed an agreement with Spain’s national post service, Correos so that its customers can use the 4,675 post office service points for free if the financial institution does not have a physical presence in the municipality. This has been in place since the first quarter of 2021.

Valencia’s regional government also has a similar deal with Caixabank, aimed at helping rural communities.

Correos also announced that in 2022 it will install 1,500 ATMs across all of Spain’s regions, 300 of them in small rural areas with a population under 3,000 which currently don’t have a single cajero at their disposal.

Correos’ new automatic teller machines will not only be set up at their post offices but in shopping centres and in other strategic locations.

Cashback in shops and supermarkets

The practice of asking for ‘cash back’ in supermarkets and other convenience stores in the UK and Ireland has been commonplace for years and could soon become the norm in Spain too.

German company Viafintech has launched Cash 26 in Spain, which allows N26 bank account holders to withdraw money from a growing network of shops that have signed up to the scheme. 

Cashback was also put into operation in 2016 by the ING bank in Spain when it signed agreements with Dia supermarkets and the Galp and Shell gas stations so that through its Twyp Cash app, you can withdraw between €20 and €150 in around 3,500 establishments.

The Bank of Spain has also proposed that money could be withdrawn from lottery booths and tobacco shops, of which there are already many across the country. 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Spain’s middle-class youngsters the most likely to end up poor across all EU

Spain leads the ranking of EU countries with the highest risk of young people ending up in poverty as adults, despite coming from families without economic difficulties.

Spain is the fourth EU country with the highest inherited poverty
Spain is EU country with most middle-class young people who end up poor. Photo: Jaime ALEKOS / AFP

Spain is also the fourth EU country with the highest rate of inherited poverty risk, according to Eurostat, the EU Statistical Office.

Data on intergenerational poverty indicates that there is a correlation between the financial situation of the household you grew up in and the risk of being poor when you reach adulthood and in Spain, there is a strong link. 

The latest statistics available from 2019 show that the at-risk-of-poverty rate for the EU was 23 percent among adults aged 25 to 59 who grew up in a poor financial situation at home when they were 14 years old. This is 9.6 percentage points more than those who come from families without financial problems (13.4 percent). 

READ ALSO: Spain’s inflation soars to 29-year high

How the situation in Spain compares with the EU

Spain has become the EU country with the highest risk of poverty among adults who grew up in families with a good financial situation  – 16.6 percent.

This was followed by Latvia with 16 percent and Italy with 15.9 percent.

That statistics also show the countries where it is less likely to be poor after growing up in households without economic difficulties. These include the Czech Republic (5.9 percent), Slovakia (7.9 percent) and Finland (8.5 percent).

The overall poverty rate in the EU decreased by 0.1 percentage points between 2011 (13.5 percent) and 2019 (13.4 percent), but the largest increases were seen in Denmark (1.9 points more), Portugal (1.8 points), the Netherlands (1.7 points) and Spain (1.2 points).  

On the other hand, the biggest decreases in the poverty rate were seen in Croatia (-4 percent), Lithuania (-3.6 percent), Slovakia (-3.5 percent) and Ireland (-3.2 percent).

READ ALSO: Spain’s government feels heat as economic recovery lags

Inherited poverty

The stats revealed that Spain was also the fourth country with the highest rate of inherited poverty risk (30 percent), only behind Bulgaria (40.1 percent), Romania (32.7 percent) and Italy (30.7 percent).

This means that children of poor parents in Spain are also likely to be poor in adulthood. 

The countries with the lowest rate of inherited poverty risk were the Czech Republic (10.2 percent), Denmark (10.3 percent) and Finland (10.5 percent).

The average risk-of-poverty rate for the EU increased by 2.5 percentage points between 2011 (20.5 percent) and 2019 (23 percent), with the largest increases seen in Bulgaria (6 points more), Slovakia and Romania (4.3 points), Italy (4.2 points) and Spain (4.1 points).

The biggest drops were seen in Latvia (-8.5 points), Estonia (-8.0 points) and Croatia (-2.3 points). 

The largest gaps in people at risk of poverty when they reach adulthood were in Bulgaria (27.6 percentage points more among those who belong to families with a poor economic situation as teenagers compared to those who grew up in wealthy households), Romania (17.1), Italy (14.8), Greece (13.5) and Spain (13.4).