Tuesday, July 5

Financial services are getting closer to rural Spain thanks to the Correos Cash initiative

“My day to day is to drink coffee and go to the field to work; I make payments, some are made with cash when it is less money, and many others, when there is more, then with a card. When I need the money, I go into the application of the Santander and I request it and the next day, María del Mar has it here ”. This is how it is expressed Salvador Exposito, a farmer neighbour of The Higueral, a village which belongs to the term of Iznajar, a municipality of just under 4,000 inhabitants located in the province of Cordova, who is served by the María del Mar Ramírez portfolio within its route of 70 to 80 kilometers per day: “I serve eight or ten districts from here in Iznájar and the service Correos Cash It consists of sending the person money, whether he wants cash or what he wants is to make an income ”.

Something that celebrates Jorge Delgado, businessman and director of the hotel Caserío de Iznájar, that, before this service started, to go to the nearest branch, he had to travel to Rute, about 10 kilometers from his residence. In his opinion, the agreement between Banco Santander and Correos, “is basically helping to streamline the daily tasks that we have to do with the bank, before we had to go to the branch, which we continue to do for the slightly more complex tasks, but we have solved our day-to-day very well by going to the post office ”.

How the Correos Cash service works

The inhabitants of rural Spain need to operate with money, a deficiency that Banco Santander has detected and has motivated the entity to sign an agreement with Correos, which is present in the most remote corners, to promote financial inclusion in these areas.

One of the initiatives that has been launched is Correos Cash, an agreement that offers cash withdrawal and deposit services in the 4,652 service points that Correos has (2,370 offices and 2,393 rural service points) throughout Spain and another service, consisting of the distribution of cash at home through the postmen of those rural areas, in whose towns there are no offices or branches, as María del Mar Ramírez anticipated.

This rural portfolio takes advantage of its visits to each of these towns to deliver the cash that customers have requested, through the Banco Santander app and through a very simple process.

With this dynamic, through the entire network of Correos and its workers, the bank provides service to 1,500 municipalities in rural Spain where it does not have a physical presence, ensuring that everyone has access to basic financial services, regardless of where they live, without having to travel. “That they bring you money home is one of the keys that is making us work very, very satisfactorily with Banco Santander”, concludes the hotelier Jorge Delgado.

Geography of rural Spain

This initiative makes it possible to fix a very present problem today. Joaquín Maudos, professor of Economic Analysis at the University of Valencia and deputy director of Research at the IVIE, points out that “the percentage of municipalities that do not have an office has increased 8.4 points, to 52.7%, and the percentage of population living in these municipalities without branches has increased from 2% to 3%, which means that at present almost 1.4 million people do not have access to a bank in their place of residence ”. That is why agreements such as the one reached by Banco Santander and Correos try to find a solution to this need.

Likewise, the latest data from the World Bank for 2019 establish that 81% of Spaniards live in cities compared to 77% in, for example, Germany. According to the figures published by the Government, in just under 20 years the Spanish population has gone from 41.1 to 47 million. An increase in which the depopulation process in rural Spain is reflected, a consequence, in large part, of the fact that job opportunities are concentrated in large population centers.