UK’s most vulnerable being deprived of cash

UK’s most vulnerable being deprived of cash despite industry-wide calls for intervention
The UK’s most vulnerable people like the elderly and lower earners are being deprived from accessing the cash they so desperately depend upon to go about their normal lives.

Welcoming Which?’s recommendation today that the government should appoint a regulator to protect access to cash, NoteMachine’s own analysis of the overall market shows there has been a 10 per cent reduction in ATMs in the last seven months. This directly corresponds with the 10 per cent reduction in the LINK interchange fee – the amount paid by banks to ATM operators per transaction – since last July.

The reduction to the interchange fee has disincentivised operators from installing and maintaining machines as it would be economically unviable to do so. At the same time, cash withdrawals continue to decrease alongside an increase in transactions made on credit. This ought to concern policy-makers.

Where retail banks are withdrawing from UK high streets, independent ATM deployers (IADs) are stepping in to provide access to cash and so have a vital role to play in maintaining access to cash.

Commenting, CEO of NoteMachine, Peter D McNamara, said:

“We are hopeful Natalie Ceeney’s Access to Cash Review will prompt LINK to work with those involved towards a sustainable solution and we look forward to continuing to inform her Review.

“In the meantime, NoteMachine will be working with partners across industry as part of a new ‘cash coalition’ that will aim to work with Natalie Ceeney, the PSR, and LINK, in highlighting the importance of being able to access.

“Although ensuring widespread, free access to cash is our number one priority, it is essential this is viewed in the context of the economic and regulatory environment in which ATM providers are having to operate.”


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