Sampo Bank has teamed up with fellow Scandinavian group Nordea to set up a joint ATM network in all three Baltic countries - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
The first ATMs are expected to be operational from September 2006 and in the future other banks will be invited to join the network, which will ultimately comprise of 100 units in Estonia, 100 in Latvia and 200 in Lithuania.
First Data International will develop and maintain the network for the banks across the Baltic region and the new ATMs will have a design that bears the logos of both banks.
The groups say the objective of the venture is to provide improved bankcard services and broader service access to both banks’ clients.
This joint project is a good example of successful cooperation between strong competitors, says Georg Schubiger, head of Sampo’s east European banking operations.
In the past we have been cautious to open up ATMs in the Baltic markets but we need to meet our increasing number of customers’ demands for easy access to cash. We believe that cash withdrawal is a customer service, which can be effectively performed in co-operation, adds Thomas Neckmar, head of Nordea in Poland and the Baltic countries.