Mobile ATMs Increasingly in Demand in Japan after Disasters

Economy

Kyoto, Nov. 14 (Jiji Press)--Demand for mobile banks, or vehicles offering automated teller machine, over-the-counter and other financial services, is growing in Japan following a recent series of natural disasters, while high introduction costs are a challenge.

These vehicles are increasingly important in order to keep financial service infrastructure in disaster-hit areas working, as they enable affected people, for example, to withdraw cash from in-vehicle ATMs in times of power outages and receive consultations from bank personnel aboard on how to reconstruct their lives, industry watchers say.

Kibi Shinkin Bank in the city of Soja in Okayama Prefecture, western Japan, which was among areas hit by torrential rains in July, introduced a mobile bank vehicle last month.

The local lender decided on the procurement of its own mobile bank vehicle because it is expected to take time to reopen its Mabi and Kawabe branches in the heavily hit Mabicho district in the city of Kurashiki in Okayama. Previously, Kibi Shinkin had borrowed such a vehicle from another shinkin bank.

Two Mabi Shinkin employees onboard the vehicle serve customers, including for consultations from people affected by the rain disaster on borrowing loans to cover their daily spending.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press