Coop Pank has opened a cash depositing service in over 100 Coop stores, run by the same company. By mid-summer, the bank says the same function will be available in more than 300 Coop stores across the country.
The rationale for the move is to plug a gap, particularly outside the larger cities in Estonia, where the majority of bank branches are now cash-free, and fewer ATMs are taking cash deposits
"We are going to solve this problem by more than doubling the number of cash depositing points all over Estonia," Margus Rink, board chair at Coop Pank, said, according to a press release.
Only 43 branches of any bank in Estonia currently offer cash transactions, and 213 have deposit ATMs, so the 300 Coop stores to take cash deposits by mid-summer will more than double the options opened, the bank says.
A survey in conjunction with the Estonian Association of Small to Medium Enterprises (EVEA) said the lack of cash depositing options was a problem for 70 percent of the respondents, according to Coop Pank, with nearly 80 percent of entrepreneur respondents saying they needed to deposit cash in the past year.
More than doubling cash deposit options in Estonia
Apparently, close to half purchases at Coop stores are in cash, and existing cash withdrawal services there are used around 1,000 times per day, Rink said, making the deposit service the next logical step.
According to Bank of Estonia statistics, on average, 87,000 cash withdrawals, and 14,000 cash deposits, were made per day, in March 2019.
The new service was opened in 138 Coop stores on May 21, and is set to rise to over 300 by mid-summer, the company says.
The service requires customers to give the cash they want depositing to the supermarket cashier, and confirm payment at the payment terminal in the same way as making a card payment. A receipt is then issued.
Deposits are capped at 1,000 euros daily, for both private and business Coop Pank clients, and 2,000 euros per month for private clients. Business clients can deposit up to 10,000 euros per month, the company says, and coins can be deposited as well as bill.
The service requires an account with Coop Pank, and is free for those clients who have the required Coop Pank banking plan, the bank says, but a fee of two euros plus 0.5 percent of the amount deposited applies for those with other Coop accounts.
Coop Pank is one of the five high street banks operating in Estonia. Its main shareholder is domestic retail chain Coop Eesti, which operates 330 stores. Consolidating 19 associations, Coop Eesti has 80,000 cooperative shareholders and nearly 600,000 loyal customers, the company says.
Editor: Andrew Whyte