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Customers will be able to access the Bank@Post service for another 10 years through to the end of 2032. Customers and business customers can deposit cash and cheques, withdraw money and make balance inquiries through participating post offices under this agreement.
The renewed partnership comes off the back of Westpac Group announcing technology upgrades across its branch network, allowing customers from St.George, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne to conduct cash transactions at any Westpac branch, and vice versa.
This also follows the major bank’s continued program of rolling out co-locations where select branches are combined. Almost 30 branches have been co-located to date, with around 100 more planned to be co-located over the next year and a half.
Westpac Group chief executive, consumer and business banking, Chris de Bruin, said the relationship with Australia Post is an important factor of the bank’s strategy to “offer customers a range of different ways”.
Mr de Bruin added that this will give “a long-term commitment to providing banking services in regional and rural communities”.
“Today’s announcement complements our commitment to giving customers choice with how they do their banking, including by bolstering digital and telephone banking, creating a more connected branch network, and ensuring our customers can access Bank@Post services in communities across Australia for years to come,” Mr de Bruin stated.
“Customers can access over-the-counter banking services at 3,500 locations across Australia, including 1,800 locations in regional Australia.
“The agreement with Australia Post means Westpac is continuing its commitment to fund investment in Bank@Post technology and services.”
In July, the banking group confirmed the closure of over 20 branches under Westpac, Bank of Melbourne and St.George brands.
A Westpac Group spokesperson stated at the time that the closures come amid “a significant shift toward digital and cashless banking, and declining foot traffic in bank branches”.
Furthermore, other major banks followed suit, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and NAB, announcing that they would be closing several branches, with CBA set to close five branches, and NAB closing eight.
In total, 37 branches are set to close over the next few months, including Westpac branches and its subsidiaries.
The Finance Sector Union (FSU) in response has urged the government to step in to “protect local economies and save what’s left of Australia’s bank branch network”.
[RELATED: Major banks to shutter another 37 branches]