Cashpoint closure controversy

By Teamspirit on Sunday, 22 July 2018

Last year, it was reported that 10,000 ATM machines around the UK may close, sparking fears of ‘ATM deserts’ – communities without free access to their cash.

The scare was prompted by proposals to overhaul the 70,000-strong Link network, which represents both banks and independent cash machine operators. Plans included changes to the ‘interchange’ fee card issuers pay to each other and independent providers when customers withdraw cash, which in turn could result in the closure of ATMs.

As of July this year however, Link has announced that plans to cut fees have been partially scrapped. This is mostly thanks to backlash about the potential ‘ATM deserts’ and new data, which suggests there’s been a steep fall in the use of cash. In fact, in a recent report it was found cash transactions fell around 15%. And for the first time, they were overtaken by card transactions.

It’s been predicted that the total number of cash transactions will more than half by the year 2027 – an interesting piece of information for anyone, but particularly those working in financial services. It would suggest many consumers are turning to cash alternatives faster than we expected – in fact, this is something John Howells, chief executive of Link has even said himself.

More evidence that, if we’re looking to understand our audience, we need to move with the times and focus on how the world is changing around us.

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