Financial exclusion continues to threaten those over 65 years of age despite the initiatives promoted by banking associations and the Bank of Spain itself. And according to the supervisory body’s report titled “In-person accessibility to banking services in Spain”, alternatives to branches and ATMs, such as telephone banking or financial agents, are barely used by the population of May. . or age. Specifically, its use barely represents 1%.
According to the document, the most used means by the older population (over 65 years of age) continue to be bank offices. There is also greater support from family members to carry out banking procedures, above what it may represent for the general population. On the other hand, the rest of the alternatives are used to a lesser extent, according to the document.
In fact, this lower use is especially pronounced in the case of online banking. Given this situation, the supervisory body headed by Pablo Hernández de Cos wonders if it would be advisable to analyze in depth “if these alternative channels really have the capacity to mitigate the possible risks of financial exclusion that this group faces.”
However, according to the “Study on Habits in the Use of Cash (EHUE)” it shows that the majority of bank customers regularly use ATMs (76.4%), bank offices (62.4%), ,2%). %) and online banking (50.6%) to carry out their banking transactions. On the other hand, there is a minority use of telephone banking and, above all, of alternative channels, such as financial agents, ofibuses, cashback, Correos Cash, which have been launched especially in emptied Spain and whose percentages of use are around 8% and 1%, respectively. Even in those municipalities without a stable office, the use of alternative channels is very minority. In this regard, the report has verified that the population residing in these municipalities goes to other municipalities with offices to carry out their banking transactions.
Increase the distance to access offices
Although the majority of customers are satisfied with the cash withdrawal service provided through ATMs and at the branch counter (73% and 75%, respectively), they continue to encounter time-related difficulties . waiting times and the times to access the use of the window, despite the extension of the times. Specifically, 21% indicate that they had difficulties withdrawing or depositing cash due to the long waiting time, while almost 30% would have encountered difficulties as a result of the limitations on window hours.
Another difficulty they face is the distance to the nearest office, which does not constitute a significant limitation for the population as a whole, but it does represent a significant difficulty in accessing cash in the case of 30% of residents in municipalities without a bank office.
In this sense, it is observed that the distance to the cash access point normally used by customers would have increased between March-May 2022 and March-May 2022. In particular, the percentage of people who have their access point The usual cash within less than a kilometer was reduced from 81.3% to 76.5% in the case of the general population, and from 33.6% to 27.2% in the case of municipalities without a stable office. However, the percentage of the population residing in municipalities without a stable office with their usual access point more than 5 km away increased from 38.4% in 2022 to 53.6% in 2023.
In this way, customers would have generally perceived a certain deterioration in the accessibility of banking services throughout 2022 in municipalities without a stable office, despite the increase in the number of cash withdrawal points in said municipalities.