Mobile banking units could be on the way to Ireland

Security company G4S is said to be in talks with Irish banks to create “bank in a box” or shared bank branches

G4S, the world’s biggest security company, said at the weekend it is in talks with banks in Ireland, as well as those in the UK, Netherlands, Cyprus, Greece, and Belgium , over the launch of high street branches. (Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

G4S, the world’s biggest security company, said at the weekend it is in talks with banks in Ireland, as well as those in the UK, Netherlands, Cyprus, Greece, and Belgium , over the launch of high street branches. (Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

 

G4S, the world’s biggest security company, said at the weekend it is in talks with banks in Ireland, as well as those in the UK, Netherlands, Cyprus, Greece, and Belgium , over the launch of high street branches.

The move comes as Irish banks continue to cut branches and limit transactions - at a time when Irish consumers are still favouring cash, despite the advent of contactless transactions.

G4S, which already transports and stores cash for banks, is looking into either developing mobile banking units, known as “banks in a box” or creating shared branches, in which customers of different banks could carry out cash transactions in the same outlet.

“We are looking to step into the space that banks want to vacate,” Graham Levinsohn, European chief executive of G4S told The Financial Times. “It is clear from the number of closures that banks don’t want tellers to be counting cash inside branches. It is simply uneconomic for banks to keep staffing bricks and mortar buildings but it makes sense for us.”

The idea is to provide cash handling and depositing services for customers of different lenders from the same outlet.

According to figures from G4S, there has been an almost 20 per cent decline in bank branches in Ireland since 2010. This is due to a combination of factors, such as the departure of names like Danske Bank and Halifax from the retail market, as well as efforts by the incumbent players to cut costs.

“Banks are keen to close them because they are much more focused on the bottom line than they used to be. It’s a very competitive market,” Mr Levinsohn told The Financial Times.

In Africa, G4S has developed a portable bank the size of a shipping container, which features a secure external ATM and a G4S product called a Depositer, which allows people to deposit their cash and have it automatically transferred to their account.