Published on 30 July 2020
New figures published today by LINK, the UK’s main cash machine network, shows that ATM usage is increasing since the early days of lockdown.

£1.5bn is now being withdrawn a week in 20 million cash withdrawals compared to £1bn and 12 million withdrawals a week in early April.

Data published by LINK in early April during the lockdown showed an average reduction in ATM use when compared to 2019 of –57%. With the lockdown gradually easing across the UK, withdrawals are now down –30%, an overall increase by 64% since the early lockdown.

The average withdrawal value remains high at £77 compared to £65 in 2019 but has fallen from £85 in early lockdown.

LINK data shows that around 9,000 ATMs (of which 3,500 were pay-to-use) were disconnected from the network at some point during lockdown. Some of these machines are next to others, for example at a supermarket or bank branches, and are disconnected to help with social distancing. Others are in premises like cinemas, theme parks and shops which closed during lockdown. To-date, over 3,000 of these ATMs (33%) have been reconnected.

Additionally, new research from LINK shows just over half of people (53%) have used cash in the past two weeks. Locations which have generally remained open through the crisis, such as convenience stores and supermarkets have seen the highest use whilst locations which have recently reopened such as pubs, restaurants and hairdressers are still only seeing low cash use.


  • 22% have used cash in a convenience store in the last fortnight
  • 17% in a supermarket
  • 12% gave cash to friends and family
  • 8% on beauty or a haircut
  • 6% on work in on their home or garden
  • 4% in a pub

LINK’s Chief Executive, John Howells said: “ATM use is slowly creeping back, and we can begin to see consumers returning to former habits by withdrawing less but using ATMs more. A considerable number of ATMs have yet to reopen since the lockdown. This too will be a gradual process, but we shouldn’t expect all of them to return. Consumers are forming new habits, whether it is online shopping or paying using contactless, but our underlying data shows that cash remains popular and important.”



This survey was undertaken on LINK’s behalf by YouGov. The online survey was conducted on 16th - 17th July and the sample size was 2,104 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 16+).

In the last two weeks, where have you used cash to pay for goods or services?  
Convenience Store 22%
Supermarket 17%
Giving cash to friends and family 12%
Personal services like hairdressers 8%
Work on house or garden 6%
Retail shops (eg clothing) 6%
Fuel 4%
Taxi 3%
Restaurant 3%
Homecare DiY 2%
Utility bills 2%
Public transport 2%

About the LINK Scheme: The LINK Scheme is the national ATM Network that connects virtually all the UK’s ATMs. LINK’s role is to provide UK consumers with universal access to cash in a safe, convenient and rapid manner. LINK has 35 industry organisations as Members that issue ATM cards and deploy ATMs in the UK. LINK cash withdrawals account for around three-quarters of all cash withdrawals, with the remainder made up of withdrawals where cardholders use their own bank or building society’s cash machines to access their cash. LINK is a not-for-profit organisation and governed by an independent Board, which has a clearly defined public interest remit.

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