CORREOS might be an odd hero to take on the banking world, but as it rolls out 1500 new cashpoints (ATMs) across Spain you might want to listen to its message.
The first two cashpoints arrived in Valencia city in January 2022 bringing unique benefits to many expats and immigrants.
For starters, Spain’s national post service is planning to install 300 of its 1500 new cashpoints in rural villages (500-3000 population) that either don’t have an existing bank or are about to be left without one.
Furthermore, the cashpoint allows users of the Correos pre-paid bank card (tarjeta prepago Correos) to take out cash.
According to El Exjuridico, these cards are particularly useful for expats, immigrants, anyone without permanent residency in Spain or anyone who has lost their bank cards or had their account blocked.
The Correos bank card doesn’t require you to link to any existing bank accounts, you don’t need to show any documentation like a NIE (foreigner’s number) and you don’t need to be on a municipal padrón or show proof of address.
You can apply in any Correos post office or online, and the cost is just €6.
If you don’t have any address at all in Spain, you can have the card sent to a nearest Correos post office for collection.
As the card is not linked to any other bank account you can’t go into the red, and any fraud is limited to whatever amount you have on your card at any time.
But as the card is backed up by Mastercard you get unfettered access to make online purchases, use it in shops, connect it with Apple Pay or Google Pay, and make commission-free payments to any other EU-based bank account.
As each card comes with a unique IBAN, you can also receive paychecks or payments without paying any extra commissions.
The only drawbacks to the card are a maximum account limit of €7500 and a cost each time you recharge the card (€1,50 in Correos offices or €2 via the Mi Cuenta online portal or the card’s related app).
According to a Correos press release, the aims behind the cashpoints and pre-paid cards are to end ‘financial exclusion’ for those with trouble accessing these services in Spain.
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