The Irish Independent reports today that there is Outrage over new BoI restrictions on cash transactions - the Bank of Ireland is to restrict cash withdrawals and lodgements in its branches, and have told its customers that they cannot withdraw less than €700 at a cash desk. It is also moving to limit cash deposits and cheque lodgements made with the assistance of a staff member, to amounts over €3,000.
|Image Source: Shannonside News.|
At first I viewed this as part of the inevitable influence of technology in banking, and for the most part I have supported this. It is very handy to lodge cheques using an in-branch machine with a card and PIN without having to fill out a form and queue for a cashier. Every bank branch has more machines, and less cashiers than before.
But... yesterday I had need to lodge a cheque in my Bank of Ireland branch on Georges' Street in Dún Laoghaire. I arrived just after opening and the bank was not too busy with customers. There are three lodgement machines in this branch, but one was already "Out of Service" - 33% of capacity unavailable. I had to queue behind other customers for the other two machines. I'm guessing it was about 10 minutes before I got my turn at the machine (at which I quickly managed to lodge my cheque with no problems I have to say). All this time there was nobody in the queue for the one cashier that was open! I never thought I'd see the day when I had to queue for machines and there would be no queue for the cashier. Banks don't care about us having to queue, as long as they can reduce the number of people that they employ - we will still have to wait.