Societe Generale, Crédit Mutuel (excluding Arkéa) and BNP Paribas, which largely compete for the French banking market, are in the process of joining forces. No, the three banking establishments do not intend to merge but they have just mentioned the launch of a project “Pooling of their ATMs”. Within France, this would concern a third of cash dispensers (DAB).
If the study led to a concrete application, then bank customers could use the ATMs of Société Générale, Crédit Mutuel or BNP Paribas as well. Relayed by The echoes, the three banks evoked the idea of “Guarantee, together and over the long term, the best access to self-service banking and strengthen the service offer for customers”. For them, a way to save on a fleet that is used less and less.
Declining cash, competition from mobile banks
Between 2020 and 2021, studies by the Groupement des Cartes Bancaires showed that cash withdrawals had fallen by 23%. Another study by Panorabanques noted that the French made only 1.6 withdrawals per month on average.
The pandemic has had a major impact on the decline. But the fall was part of a more general downtrend. That same year, in France, the number of ATMs rose to 48,710, against 50,136 a year earlier.
Rural areas are the most affected, they still suffer from businesses not equipped with mobile payment terminals (TPE) to accept cards. In France, 56.6% of municipalities have no access to an ATM. This banking desert will soon become stronger with branch closures. Traditional banks, competing with mobile banks on their costs, are now seeking to go digital.
In a press release, Societe Generale, Crédit Mutuel and BNP Paribas try to reassure about rural areas. “The study will pay particular attention to securing the installation of ATMs in rural areas”, advertise establishments.
If a pooling is indeed effective, it is certain that the initiative will see the light of day with the aim of supporting the decline in the use of cash, but should also allow the millions of customers of these banks to find more. easily a distributor.
Without pooling, the number of distributors could fall even further. Without being used, their cost remains a burden and a sum that could be used in investments. According to initial estimates, the project would end in 2023.
At BNP Paribas, the hunt for superfluous costs has also spread to the number of advisers. Since the start of the week, a new pricing policy has been put in place, putting an end to months of experimentation. From now on, customers must subscribe to a subscription at 12 euros per month to be entitled to an appointed advisor. And the offer is only accessible to customers of the premium offer called “Affinity”.
Otherwise, the other part of the staff of advisers is responsible for a larger number of clients to whom they do not necessarily know the files.
Competition from mobile banking is not the only one responsible for reducing costs at traditional banks. As a reminder, low rates greatly penalize retail banks, which can no longer find a simple way to get paid.
In France, according to Deloitte, a client would only bring in 450 euros on average per year. And this also applies to the smallest mobile banks. This is particularly the case of banks which do not have many customers who make banking their main account. In this situation, neo-banks but also online banks like ING France.