Kirsten Worms drives a bright red car emblazoned with the slogan, “Savings bank. Good for the region.” Today, she drives to a residence in the small town in Rheinhessen, where a woman awaits the bank employee’s delivery: cash.
Ms. Worms’ vehicle is essentially a cash taxi owned by the Sparkasse Worms-Alzey-Ried savings bank in the village of Wörrstadt, about an hour’s drive south-west of Frankfurt. She provides a service that is increasingly being offered across Germany. Savings and loan institutions, as well as banks, are delivering customers’ money to them at home. While providing cash by messenger has a long tradition in many rural areas of Germany, it’s new to big cities.
Savings banks and credit unions are closing branches on a big scale. In some cases, bank branches are being cut by up to 30 percent, and getting to ATMs is difficult for many older customers.