In 2017, there were 660 bank branches where you could withdraw cash over the counter. Today, the service is only available at 134 Savings bank branches. As of April 2022, none of the major banks offers this service; see Figure 11.
There are also fewer places where people can cash in their payment slips and pay their bills in cash. This is partly due to the fact that all major banks have stopped handling cash, but also because the company ClearOn discontinued Kassagirot in August 2022. The Kassagirot system enabled petrol stations and grocery stores to act as payment service agents and help their customers with various cash payment services. Kassagirot was also the only payment service that allowed asylum seekers to identify themselves with an LMA card to pay bills (see The closure of Kassagirot affects vulnerable groups).
As manual cash services disappear, consumers are being directed to automated and digital services. This makes it more difficult for people who are unable to use digital payment methods, or are excluded from the digital payment market for whatever reason, to pay. It has also led to a shortage of places where coins can be deposited into accounts, as deposit machines generally do not accept coins. In addition, the general public is becoming more dependent on having access to ATMs to withdraw cash – which can increase the vulnerability of the payment system.
Figure 11. The number of bank branches handling cash is decreasing
Number of bank branches offering over-the-counter cash withdrawals.