Is the end of the free to use ATM’s in sight?
The latest analysis by the consumer champion shows a spike in the number of people forced to pay withdraw their own money from cash machines with experts warning that half of Britain’s ATM’s could close within two years.
According to Which? the findings highlight the need for urgent clarity and direction from the government on the role of cash in the future including specific details about how it will ensure that cash continues to be a viable payment method for those that need it.
Since 2018, two Birmingham constituencies have seen 44 and 41 percent reductions in free to use ATMs, but both had a 50 percent increase in pay to use machines.
Nottingham East has seen 43 percent of free cash machines closed but an 11 percent increase in pay to use machines. All three locations are within the top 10 percent for deprivation in England.
The results are particularly concerning as previous research has shown that those in more deprived areas are more likely to use cash. ATM’s are the most commonly used means of withdrawing cash, with UK Finance figures showing that 91 percent of cash withdrawals took place through ATM’s in 2019.
So what does the future hold for our ATM’s? As we have mentioned a few times on this blog, cash is disappearing fast. We are heading to a cashless society, which has many positives! but there are many people who rely on cash and this is usually the old and poorer sections of our community’s. It is sad to see so many banks removing there free to use cash points and seeing them replaced by private pay to use cash points hitting the most needy.
Fruit machines in pubs are not legally allowed to accept card payments to play them, even though the technology is there and ready to go. Our industry is pushing hard for this as we are one of the few industry’s that card payments are not accepted. Watch this space for when this regulation changes and another step towards our cashless society happens!