The revolution in the locker market

· Ø Reading Time: 2 min

German banks are closing more and more branches to cut costs. Many services are now only offered digitally or not at all. While online banking works well to very well in many cases, the situation can be different when it comes to advice on construction financing or retirement planning. Banks also simply dispense with some services completely. For example, some cash deposits and withdrawals and other services that used to be offered over the counter are no longer offered. A service that is also falling victim to branch closures: the safe deposit box. If you call your bank branch at the current time and ask for a safe deposit box, in many cases you will hear the same answer: “Unfortunately, we no longer have any safe deposit boxes available” or “We can gladly put you on the waiting list”. Neither answer is satisfactory in most cases.

A good alternative to the bank are private providers of safe deposit boxes, which are now opening their doors in more and more cities. In most cases, these private providers operate old bank vaults left over from a FIlial closure. These plants work according to the well-known principle: the 1. key has the operator (formerly the bank) and the 2. key has the owner. After the operator has “pre-locked” the locker, the owner can completely unlock the locker and thus access the contents of his locker. While this principle is common among banks and private providers, there are of course clear disadvantages:

  • One is always dependent on a (bank) employee
  • You can not lose the key, otherwise it will be expensive
  • You can only access your own locker during opening hours

Especially in times of crisis – as the Covid pandemic recently showed with its lockdowns – this can quickly lead to a situation where you suddenly can no longer access your safe deposit box because the bank has closed.

A great solution is offered by the company Trisor from Berlin, which operates a 24/7 facility at the Tiergarten in Berlin. Here, instead of the old-fashioned “preclosing”, there is a clever alternative that goes by the name of “robot”. After the owner has authenticated himself using an access card, secret code and fingerprint, a robot located inside the safe brings the locker to the owner. All of this happens well isolated in a discreet customer cabin. And best of all, as a customer you really can access your locker around the clock, as the robot knows neither lockdown nor working hours.