Location, location, location: the long road to a smarter cash network in Belgium


New Batopin CASH points will be appearing all over Belgium in the coming years. These will be ‘bank-neutral’ ATMs that don’t feature the logos of the participating banks: Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, ING and KBC. An operation on this scale takes a huge amount of preparation. Deciding on the right locations for the ATMs is a painstaking process, based on a mass of geographical and demographic data.

To make sure it all runs smoothly, Batopin is working closely with experts in mobility, economics and public spaces. The location plan for the ATMs is beginning literally from zero and takes account of where Belgians live, work, shop and how they travel today.

Phased rollout

The full rollout of the Batopin network will take several years to complete, from mid-2021 through to the end of 2024. The deposit of cash will be possible from early summer 2022. From that time onwards, the four big banks will gradually begin to reduce the number of ATMs operating under their own brand names. This process will run simultaneously with the development of the new Batopin cash network.

Being able to withdraw cash on every street corner is neither necessary nor feasible in these digital times. But what we do need is better distribution of the ATMs that are out there. The approach whereby multiple banks join forces* is the most efficient solution for ensuring that everyone can have access to the cash they need.

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Every location counts

To create its location plan, Batopin has drawn inspiration from the concept of a major retailer opening its stores in the best possible locations. This will mean that ATMs located close to one another will be scrapped if they are underused – we have all seen four or more ATMs located around the same village square.

The optimization of the cash network (less CASH points but spread more efficiently) requires a huge amount of administrative work, because new ATMs require new permits and other permissions. So Batopin has not simply opted for a replacement programme but has taken a blank sheet to create the ideal network where every location counts. It’s not always the easiest way, but it is definitely the best.

* “ATM as a service”, the service offered by Batopin, is open to all banks. See who the members are here.

New mobility: Batopin and the Belgian national railway company (SNCB/NMBS)

New mobility is one of the spearheads in our location plan and the acquisition of the concession of the Belgian national railway company offers the opportunity to effectively subscribe to it. Batopin and the Belgian national railway company selected the most meaningful locations for CASH points in approximatively 80 Belgian railway stations. The selection is the result of a thorough thinking process based on the value of physical meeting points and includes obvious ‘high traffic’ locations as well as less busy locations with an important local and societal role (for example cities with no real city center).

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