Sonect is available in the UK

Sonect has officially launched in the UK and started to roll out its solution to help guarantee access to cash. In October last year, it was announced that Sonect had been selected to participate in an initiative called the Community Access to Cash Pilots. Now the Sonect App is live and available for use in Burslem and Tunstall (Stoke-on-Trent).

As bank branches and ATMs are increasingly being closed in the UK, more and more communities struggle to access cash. In 2019, Burslem became the first community with a population of more than 20.000 to lose all its ATMs after several major banks closed on the high street.

“Sonect want to make telling contribution to the different communities within the Burslem & Tunstall area in every respect. Our App does this in a very special way, providing residents with the UK’s first “Click & Collect” Cash Service, giving customers a guarantee that they can collect the cash they need free of charge, when and where they want it, at the local Sonect Retail Partner of their choice,” Ron Delnevo, UK Director at Sonect, said.

According to the consumer group Which?, the overall number of ATMs in the UK has fallen by 13,000 in the past three years, from 67,300 to 54,400. Furthermore, a survey by Which? shows that 10 million people across the UK rely on cash and are not ready or able to give up on it.

The UK Finance Community Access to Cash Pilots Initiative is working across the UK to trial and test solutions to help keep cash sustainable. The goal is to find a solution that could have wider applicability across the UK. Sonect has been selected as the only solution from outside the UK to participate in the project.

By downloading the Sonect App, people can now pick up their cash directly from 10 local shops in Burslem and Tunstall without making a purchase. The shops include chains such as One Stop, Spar and Bargain Booze as well as small local stores and takeaways. Participating shops use the Sonect Shop App and benefit from the service in various ways, such as increased foot traffic and better customer service.

Sonect’s solution is the first of its kind in the UK. The Swiss fintech company has already successfully launched its platform in Switzerland and built the largest ATMs network in the country within only 2 years. The UK launch supports Sonect’s strategic goal to bring its service to a wider audience and expand internationally. 

“Sonect has been built to solve cash problems like the one escalating in the UK right now. It is amazing to have finally launched our solution here to help secure access to cash for those who rely on it every single day. We are looking forward to bringing our service to a broader audience in the UK soon,” Sandipan Chakraborty, CEO and founder of Sonect, said.


Media Relations
Steivan Pitsch
Head of Marketing
[email protected]

UK Contact
Ron Delnevo
UK Director
[email protected]

About Sonect
Sonect is a fintech startup headquartered in Zurich. It was founded in 2016 and employs 32 people in Zurich, Vilnius and Mexico City. The startup offers a platform that makes financial services easily accessible from anywhere. Sonect turns every cash register into an ATM and, thanks to the Sonect app, cash can be withdrawn easily, largely independent of infrastructure and therefore cost-effectively. More than 2,300 locations offer cash withdrawals with Sonect, making it the largest cash withdrawal network in Switzerland. Sonect is active in various European countries as well as overseas. The startup was named “Next Global Hot Thing” at the 2019 Swiss Digital Economy Award’s.
www.sonect.net

New: Cash withdrawal with the TWINT app thanks to Sonect

With Sonect, users can easily withdraw cash at the store checkout in over 2300 shops throughout Switzerland via app. The functionality has now been integrated into TWINT and is available to the more than 3 million TWINT users with immediate effect.Although cash is becoming less and less important, according to a recent study, 67% of consumers in Switzerland see cash as essential. The ATM network has been in continuous decline for years, making it increasingly difficult to withdraw cash, especially in rural areas. In other words, precisely where cash plays an even greater role. With the Sonect app, cash can be withdrawn at over 2300 participating stores, for example at all k kiosks or Volg stores.

Simplified cash withdrawal for all TWINT users

As of now, the Sonect functionality is also available in the widely used and popular TWINT app. The Sonect service is thus available to over 3 million TWINT users throughout Switzerland. This means that Sonect has gained another major partner. “We are very pleased to now have another strong partner on our side with TWINT. This will help us grow and further simplify cash withdrawals in Switzerland” says Sandipan Chakraborty. TWINT CEO Markus Kilb is also pleased about the cooperation: “We always pursue the goal of making everyday life as easy as possible for our customers. And if there should be situations in the future where cash is essential, we even offer that in our app with the integration of Sonect.”

It’s as simple as this: Users enter the desired cash amount in the TWINT app, and a barcode is generated. This is scanned by the cashier either with the Sonect Shop app or with the cash register’s barcode reader, and the amount is issued in cash. Sonect’s proprietary algorithm ensures that the user always finds a store that can dispense the cash at that exact moment and in that exact location.

Already the largest cash withdrawal network in Switzerland

“With 2300 Sonect locations to date, we are already the largest cash withdrawal network in Switzerland, and we will continue to expand this in the coming months” says Sandipan Chakraborty, founder and CEO of Sonect. He adds: “Sonect turns every cash register into an ATM. We are targeting smaller stores in outlying regions as well as large and widespread retailers. We are happy to welcome all TWINT users on our platform”. Sonect also cooperates directly with financial institutions and supports them in providing cash to their customers.


About Sonect
Sonect is a fintech startup headquartered in Zurich. It was founded in 2016 and employs 32 people in Zurich, Vilnius and Mexico City. The startup offers a platform that makes financial services easily accessible from anywhere. Sonect turns every cash register into an ATM and, thanks to the Sonect app, cash can be withdrawn easily, largely independent of infrastructure and therefore cost-effectively. More than 2,300 locations offer cash withdrawals with Sonect, making it the largest cash withdrawal network in Switzerland. Sonect is active in various European countries as well as overseas. The startup was named “Next Global Hot Thing” at the 2019 Swiss Digital Economy Award’s.
www.sonect.net

About TWINT
With TWINT, cashless payments can be made directly from bank accounts in e-commerce, at the checkout and at vending machines. In addition, funds can be sent and requested from private individual to private individual. With TWINT, users also benefit from added value such as the deposit of customer cards. With more than three million registered users, TWINT is the most widespread mobile payment solution in Switzerland. TWINT AG is owned by the largest Swiss banks: BCV (Banque Cantonale Vaudoise), Credit Suisse, PostFinance, Raiffeisen, UBS, Zürcher Kantonalbank as well as SIX and Worldline.
www.twint.ch


Contact and further information

Steivan Pitsch
Head of Marketing
[email protected]

Sonect launches its UK activities

Cash withdrawals in the UK have become increasingly difficult: banks have closed down branches due to cost pressure, often also removing their ATMs and as a result, thousands of communities and cash users lost the possibility of accessing cash. The Community Access to Cash Pilot aims to work with a number of communities across the UK to try out and test scalable solutions that help to ensure sustainable access to cash. As part of this initiative a small number of locations for pilot projects have been selected. The pilots will operate for the first six months of 2021. The aim of these pilots is to trial new solutions for cash access which could have wider applicability across the UK. Sonect has been selected as the only solution from outside the UK to participate in the pilot and will implement its service in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.  

Sonect converts every till into an ATM. The Sonect app allows customers to withdraw cash directly in the store using only their smartphone. Sonect thus not only guarantees access to cash, but also provides SMEs with a digital service for their customers. Sonect widens the options for people to get cash locally and help businesses to reduce their own costs of depositing cash. Sonect has already successfully launched its platform in Switzerland and has built the largest independent ATM network the country within only 2 years. By participating in this pilot project Sonect underlines its strategy to offer its services internationally. After a successful pilot project in Sweden, the UK is now the second confirmed market entry in 2020, with more European markets to follow by the end of the year.

Natalie Ceeney, Chair, Community Access to Cash Pilot: “One of the aims of the Cash Pilots is to trial innovative ideas which keep cash viable in communities, supporting retailers and consumers alike. Sonect is one of these innovative ideas being piloted, and should help residents and small businesses in Burslem get easier and cheaper access to cash. I welcome Sonect’s participation and look forward to working with them over the next year”

Sandipan Chakraborty, CEO of Sonect “We are thrilled to be the only company from outside UK to join this novel pilot initiative and look forward to solving the diminishing access to cash problem in UK through our innovative platform approach that fosters local cash recirculation”

Ron Delnevo, UK Business Development Director “As a leading UK advocate for cash & Payment Choice, I am delighted to be leading the launch and development of Sonect in the UK. Sonect has a truly innovative approach to cash access, which can genuinely help the public in Burslem and soon around the UK to get the vital cash they use to lead their lives each day”


About Sonect
Sonect, a Zurich-based fintech start-up, was founded in 2016 and employs 30 people in Zurich, Vilnius and Mexico City. Sonect provides an international platform that makes financial services easily accessible from anywhere. With its platform, Sonect enables cash withdrawals directly at any point of sale. With Sonect, every store can be an ATM and cash withdrawals become simpler, faster and more cost-effective. With over 2’300 Sonect shops, Sonect is already the largest ATM network provider in Switzerland and is in the midst of its European and LATAM expansion.

For more information visit www.sonect.net

About the Community Access to Cash Pilots
The Community Access to Cash Pilots (CACP) initiative is working with a number of communities across the UK to trial and test scalable solutions to help keep cash sustainable. The initiative is supported by the banking and finance industry which will provide resources in the form of financing and local staff who understand what is possible, linked to a central team who have the influence to make things happen. The pilot programme is also supported by a wide range of consumer groups and charities, who will also bring their expertise to support the work. The pilots will start in the summer of 2020, and run until the end of June 2021. Pilot communities have been selected by an independent board, chaired by Natalie Ceeney CBE, who led the Access to Cash Review, and supported by a mix of industry, small business and customer representatives. 

For more information visit https://communityaccesstocashpilots.org/


For more information, please contact:

Investment Relations
Sandipan Chakraborty
CEO and Founder of Sonect
[email protected]

Media Relations
Steivan Pitsch
Head of Marketing
[email protected]

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