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OP Bank to charge active cash users

Following in the footsteps of other retail banks in Finland, OP says it’s reducing the number of free monthly cash withdrawals from five to four in April.

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Image: AOP

After the fourth withdrawal in a one-month period, OP bank will debit customers’ accounts 55 cents for each subsequent trip to the ATM.

With cash increasingly perceived as the horse-drawn carriage of payments, retail banks have started charging customers preferring physical currency.

Nordea currently charges customers 40 cents for fifth and subsequent withdrawals in a 30-day period, and Ålandsbanken charges one euro after the first five monthly withdrawals.

At the moment, some six percent of OP customers visit cash machines more than four times per month.

“Cash use is decreasing in all age groups at a rate of ten percent per year,” Harri Nummela, an OP executive vice president, told Finnish News Agency STT, adding that OP customers can withdraw cash at grocery store checkouts around the country.

Cash still king for many

Speaking at a forum for business reporters at the end of last year, Tuomas Välimäki, a board member of the Bank of Finland, said the drive towards cashlessness has been too rapid.

Around ten percent of residents still prefer cash over other payment methods. Finland’s central bank outlines that residents should be able to make at least one free cash withdrawal a week.

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