Bendigo Bank is set to remove the only automated teller machine (ATM) in Talbot in a decision that will greatly inconvenience local residents.
The bank, which champions itself as an important contributor to rural and regional Australian communities, will remove the machine at the end of October.
The ATM is a key outlet that allows locals to make cash withdrawals and is particularly important for the provision of cash for Talbot Farmers’ Market and Town Hall Market events held on the third Sunday of each month.
Talbot Farmers’ Market marketing officer Jayne Newgreen said the decision, which was made known to market officials on August 8, will leave market goers and the township scrambling to find immediate options for cash acquirement.
A statement to The Courier from Bendigo Bank said declining transactions, highlighted in a recent review of the ATM, were the reason for the removal of the service.
"At the end of the day, although the Community Bank model is community spirited there is also the commercial reality of making the business viable in order to meet day to day expenses,” it said.
“While it is a disappointing result, at the same time, we need to be realistic.”
Ms Newgreen said Talbot Farmers’ Market and Town Hall Market representatives were looking into the potential acquirement of a portable ATM machine to service the final two markets of the year.
“We are not actively pursuing a permanent solution,” she said.
“We’re looking at (addressing) this from multiple directions so our customers don’t get caught out when they do come to the Talbot market. (That involves) talking to our stall holders who have already have eftpos machines.”
However, she said the cost of portable ATM machines was “not insignificant” and could cost the market up to $300 for a four-hour period of use.
“We’ve been really lucky to have the ATM in town for so long, but without that, for us, it’s really about raising awareness and enabling customers to be ready when they come to the market.”
The next Talbot Farmers’ Market will be held on Sunday, September 18, with the following edition to take place on October 16.
The nearest points for cash transactions for Talbot locals are at the Maryborough and Avoca branches, the Clunes Newsagency and St Arnaud’s Sportsfirst .
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