As outlined in its interchange announcement at the end of January, LINK has committed to maintain the broad geographical coverage of the ATM network in the UK and to publish data on progress against this. This is the third report, which shows the cumulative position, as at September 2018.
Between the end of January and the start of September 2018, the number of free-to-use ATMs reduced from 54,500 to 53,000. This represents an overall 2.8% reduction in the size of the network (1,500 ATMs). This reduction is consistent with LINK’s Impact Assessment on the effect of changes in interchange published at the start of the year. This estimated that the reduction in the size of the network, as a result of the interchange reduction, would be up to 11% over a four-year period.
The continuing adoption of new payment methods is reducing the demand for cash and therefore ATM withdrawals. The ATM deployment market is responding by reducing the number of free ATMs independently of the interchange reduction. LINK’s commitment is to ensure that coverage of the network is not reduced as a result of the changes made to interchange. We are also working to maintain coverage as a result in the decline in consumer demand, although ATM management and deployment is a matter that goes beyond LINK’s control alone. Protecting the level of interchange, and in some cases increasing the interchange payable, on machines in more remote and rural locations will help to ensure that these ATMs do not close. A reduction in interchange rates in busier urban centres has also been made as there is an over-provision of machines in some of these areas.
LINK has put in place specific arrangements to protect free-to-use ATMs more than 1 kilometre away from their next nearest free-to-use ATM. This is laid out in LINK’s Policy on Protected ATMs which can be found here. LINK is targeting all 2,364 of these free machines in more remote and rural areas to remain open to preserve coverage, unless there is another source of cash access available or no consumer impact from closure. In 75 of these locations (click here to view), the free-to-use ATM is no longer transacting or has switched to surcharge (24 reported last month). 52 of these 75 locations have alternative free access to cash from the Post Office, relate to ATMs that were not in any case already accessible to the general public or have security issues that make the site unsafe. The remaining 23 (15 reported last month) need replacing with another free ATM and subsidies to open a new ATM will be provided by LINK. This report gives full details.
A full list of Protected ATM locations is also available here.
In addition, LINK runs a Financial Inclusion Programme to protect access to cash in more deprived communities. The LINK Financial Inclusion Programme has been improving access to cash for the most deprived communities since 2006. It provides subsidies to ATM operators that run free-to-use machines in the most deprived communities in the UK. In 2006 1,694 deprived areas were identified with no free access to cash where the subsidy could apply. In 2015, 957 further sites were brought into the Programme following independent research by Toynbee Hall, making a total of 2,651 in scope today. Of these 2,651 sites, 1,847 have a free ATM and 804 are without a free ATM. The remaining 8,743 deprived sites across the UK already have a normal free ATM. The Financial Inclusion Dashboard gives full details.
You can download a breakdown of LINK ATMs by Parliamentary Constituency here.
Copies of previous monthly reports can be downloaded below:
|July 2018||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|August 2018||Footprint Report||Dashboard|