Many rural areas switch cash buses for local stores ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Postimees/Scanpix

Swedbank bank buses, which offer cash withdrawals and other bank services, will no longer visit many rural areas from the beginning of November. Cash withdrawals are now offered by local stores.

The move affects 17 communities around Estonia. Swedbank hopes to close the remaining 30 stops by the end of the year.

“The person says they sum they want to withdraw, inserts a bank card into the terminal and enters a PIN-code, we add the sum and the cash is withdrawn,” said Luule Lindre, head of a store in Järva County.

The service is far better for clients, who had to wait for a bank bus to withdraw cash, and the bus comes as seldom as a few times each month, while stores are usually open from morning to late in the evening.

Shopkeepers, however, are feeling the pressure, as many also have to offer postal services, with Eesti Post closing its own offices in rural areas and moving its services into local stores.

Swedbank, Estonia's biggest private bank, said on average, only 3-5 people per day use the service in each store.

Ulla Ilisson, the bank's head of client service, said many negotiations are still ongoing and contracts will be different. She said they are also talking with local authorities to offer other banking services, such as consultations.

Editor: J.M. Laats

Easter Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting productionEaster Monday a public holiday? But you're forgetting production
Estonia’s Easter Monday time loop: Discussing an additional day off

Every year, Estonia reliably asks itself the question whether or not Easter Monday should be made a public holiday. Opinions differ. While one side emphasizes the importance of family time, the other thinks an additional day off would threaten economic growth.

Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).Minister of Social Protection Kaia Iva (IRL).
Samost: Kaia Iva’s charisma could help IRL out of long-term low

In Sunday’s “Samost ja Rumm” radio debate show, editor-in-chief of ERR’s online news, Anvar Samost, and journalist and former politician Hannes Rumm discussed the potential and actual candidates for the chairmanship of the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union (IRL). At the time of the broadcast, Helir-Valdor Seeder had not yet made his intention to run public.