In October 2019, LINK, the UK’s cash access and ATM network, opened its doors to allow people to highlight local cash access issues. Since then, LINK has spoken to over 4,500 people and has now funded 100 ATMs across the UK following requests from local people. These now serve communities which otherwise wouldn’t have free access to cash.
Following the first machine going live in Durness, Northwest Highlands, the 100th machine has been installed in Handsworth, Birmingham. Based on the Holyhead Road near The Hawthorns, home of West Bromwich Albion, the new free to use ATM was installed following a community request after a nearby alternative machine began charging.
In total, the machines have served one million customers and over £65m has been withdrawn from them.
Of the ATMs that are installed, 41 machines have replaced an ATM which was previously charging but is now free including Abertillery, Glasgow and Nuneaton. Some communities have saved as much as £20,000 a year because of that change. The average community where LINK has done this has saved over £8,000 a year in transaction fees meaning more money for residents and circulating in the local economy.
The UK’s banks and building societies have provided the financial support to make this happen.
ATMs have been installed in rural locations with poor access to cash, places where geographic barriers make it hard to access cash, and in locations where free cash wasn’t available 7 days a week. Any member of the public can apply via LINK’s website: https://www.link.co.uk/consumers/request-access-to-cash/
John Howells, CEO, LINK: “There are 10 million people who would struggle in a cashless society and we know firsthand how important the local ATM, bank branch or Post Office is to millions of consumers. Understandably, inflation, higher fuel prices and energy bills are all placing greater strains on people’s incomes. For many, especially those who are older, disabled or living on lower incomes, there’s still no substitute to cash. We’re pleased to see the Government is bringing forward legislation to protect access to cash. It means LINK can continue to support communities like Handsworth and others across the UK.”
Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP: ‘’Cash remains a vital tool for millions of people across the UK, and I’ll shortly be bringing forward legislation to protect access to cash to ensure that no one is left behind as we transition to a digital world.
“It’s great to see LINK already working with local communities to ensure their cash access needs are met. I look forward to seeing how this and other industry initiatives will continue to support the cash needs of local communities.”
Marc Terry, International Managing Director for Cardtronics: “Access to cash is crucial for communities up and down the country. We are pleased to be able to continue our support for LINK’s initiative by providing this 100th community request ATM.”