A programme to install extra ATMs in large city districts in the Valencian Community has been announced by the regional government.
The move is aimed at reducing social exclusion suffered by mainly older residents following the mass closure of bank branches in favour of online transactions.
Valencian finance minister, Arcadi España, said that branch cuts in recent years had not been limited to smaller municipalities and rural areas.
The minister cited districts with populations of up to 15,000 in areas of Alicante, Elche, Castello de la Plana, and Valencia as examples.
He pointed out that city neighbourhoods tend to have an ageing population who ‘had to travel long distances to access a fundamental service’, let alone getting ‘face-to-face assistance’.
The plan involves getting city councils to allow public buildings and health centres to have ATMs installed.
“With this new project we want to combat financial exclusion so that citizens can access a basic service in their day-to-day life,” said Arcadi España.
He also reflected on the success of training courses in the Valencia region aimed at teaching digital skills to people aged 65 and over.
Following pilots last year in Bejis, Burjassot, Carcaixent and Orihuela, the scheme will be rolled out across the region this year with an investment of €100,000.
Workshops include advice on cybersecurity and banking apps, as well as how to avoid be tricked by online scams.