The number of bank branches in Scotland has fallen from 18k to less than 8k, and cash-crazed customers are starting to get cantankerous.
To address the shortage, banks are building automated teller-mobiles that drive around the countryside offering angry Scots a way to withdraw cash — for as few as 30 minutes a week.
The Scottish cash crash
Last year, 460 Scottish ATMs disappeared each month as banks like the Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays scaled back physical infrastructure to compete with digital-only banks like Monzo, Revolut, and Starling — leaving 1.5k formerly bank-filled towns bank-less.
But Scottish customers — particularly older people in rural areas — didn’t adopt online banking alternatives as quickly as expected, and when they were suddenly forced to travel 2 hours to get to an ATM, they got cranky.
Now, people rely on ‘banks on wheels’…
But that doesn’t mean they’re happy about it.
When armored, Wi-Fi-enabled RBS bank-mobiles visit rural towns, angry Scottish grandmas and peeved pub owners routinely curse out the cash carriers.
But, for now, the cash trucks are needed to cater to the bill-and-coin crowd — which still accounts for 38% of the UK’s population.