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

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

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Valladolid has also invested in five public ATMs and has installed them centres where they had been withdrawn years ago.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


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