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Finance | Availability of cash in ATMs and other means

To ask the Minister for Finance the degree to which he remains satisfied that cash remains readily available to customers through the banks via ATMs or other means; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Over the last decade, we have seen a shift in the way consumers and businesses are paying and banking. While historically Ireland has been a relatively cash-intensive economy, advances in technology and changing customer demands have prompted a rapid increase in the take-up of electronic payments. The Covid-19 pandemic has acted as a potential catalyst for the move towards digital payments and the move away from cash.

Notwithstanding a significant increase in the take-up of electronic payments, cash remains a vital part of the Irish payment system. Banks have a key role in maintaining the flow of cash through the economy and ensuring appropriate access to retail banking services for all in society, including the vulnerable.

The changes currently underway in the Irish retail banking sector are a reflection of the wider challenges the banking sector is facing, not only in Ireland but also abroad. It is because of these changes that I have instructed my Department to undertake a broad-ranging review of the retail banking sector, which is currently taking place.

A key part of the review will be to examine the use and availability of cash in Ireland and determine whether any legislative proposal is needed in this regard.

The public consultation undertaken as part of the review contained a number of questions relating to access to cash. One of these questions noted the concerns which are being raised around access to cash and asked for submissions on what should be done to protect access to cash.

My officials are currently working on the Review and their draft report will be delivered to me in November.




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