Both the Sparkasse Oberland and the VR-Bank Werdenfels had to close some branches in Weilheim-Schongau and the neighboring districts in recent years.
However, they are now cooperating with each other so that they can continue to use EC machines.
District - "We are - if I may put it that way - still competitors", clarifies Walter Beller, CEO of VR Bank Werdenfels.
It is not a merger, just a cooperation.
“This is also not possible because of the different legal forms of our banks,” confirms Markus Lanz, who sits on the board of directors of Sparkasse Oberland.
Cooperation for around four years
The fact is that both VR Bank and Sparkasse have closed some branches in recent years.
This was especially the case in rural areas.
Common EC machines are to be placed at some of these locations from Monday, February 1st.
This means that customers of Sparkasse Oberland and VR Bank Werdenfels can withdraw money there free of charge.
Technically, this works without any problems because the cards of the other bank can be activated, explains Lanz.
This cooperation has been functioning in Polling and Oberhausen for around four years.
Six more locations are now being added.
In the Weilheim-Schongau district, the new machines will then be in Pähl, Wielenbach, Wessobrunn and Obersöchering.
In the Garmisch-Partenkirchen district, there will be a shared machine in Murnau-Weindorf and in Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen in Schlehdorf.
From April 1st, only one machine at the eight locations
ATMs from both banks can currently be found at some of these locations.
"These stay until March 31," explains Lanz.
From April 1, there will only be a shared ATM at each of the eight locations.
In Pähl, Wielenbach, Wessobrunn and Obersöchering, there are VR Bank machines from which savings bank customers can also withdraw free of charge.
In Schlehdorf and Murnau-Weindorf it is the other way around.
The signage of the doors and walls in the branch as well as the machines will be implemented from February 1st.
By the end of March, the information with a double logo (see picture) should be attached to the outside.
This is what the sign on one of the cooperation's ATMs could look like in Wessobrunn, for example.
© Photo montage: Sparkasse / VR Bank
Both Lanz and Beller agree that cash is still “an important aspect” for the population.
Even if many transactions would be cashless due to the corona pandemic, smaller amounts would still like to be paid in cash, explains Lanz.
Thanks to the cooperation between the Sparkasse and VR Bank, the two banks can "ensure a long-term supply of cash in the towns," says Beller.
Cooperation means half the costs for both banks
Banks would earn little or nothing at ATMs.
This is only the case with third-party withdrawals.
And the costs are high.
Rent and insurance as well as maintenance and money transport would have to be paid for.
As a result of the cooperation, both banks only have half the costs.
“We didn't want to dismantle machines for the sake of economy, but instead continue to enable our customers to withdraw money,” explains Lanz.
Therefore, both banks are pleased that this is possible through this cooperation.
The new location in Schlehdorf is interesting for VR Bank customers.
"It's easy to get there and easy to park," explains the CEO.
“The locations in Obersöchering and Wessobrunn should be interesting for our customers because we weren't represented there yet,” says Lanz.