As outlined in its interchange announcement at the end of January 2018, 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 report shows the cumulative position, as at September 2023.
Between January 2018 and September 2023, the number of free-to-use ATMs reduced from 54,500 to 38,000. This represents an overall 30% reduction in the size of the free network (16,500 ATMs). Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic the overall broad geographic coverage of the ATM network has been maintained in line with LINK’s objectives, as set out in this report.
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. LINK is targeting all 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 459 of these locations, the free-to-use ATM has closed or switched to surcharge (453 reported last month). Of these 459 locations (click here to view), 379 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, have security issues that make the site unsafe or have resulted in no community detriment. The remaining 80 (76 reported last month) need replacing with another free ATM, and subsidies to open a new ATM will be provided by LINK.
A full list of Protected ATM locations is also available here.
A breakdown of LINK’s direct commissioning activity is available here.
LINK has also committed to ensure that every high street in the UK has free access to cash via an ATM or a Post Office. Further details of LINK’s high street commitment can be found here.
LINK has also set up a service that allows all communities to request help if they lack adequate access to cash. Over 100 ATMs have now been installed as a result of this work. Further details of LINK’s community access to cash initiative can be found 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. A further 112 Scottish Output Areas were brought into the Programme in September 2018. In December 2020, 42 areas were brought in, making a total of 2,805 in scope today. Of these 2,805 sites, 2,368 have access to a free ATM, Post Office, or counter terminal, and 437 do not. The ATM Footprint Report gives full details.
You can download a list of LINK ATMs by Parliamentary Constituency here.
Copies of previous monthly reports can be downloaded below:
|August 2023||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|July 2023||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|June 2023||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|May 2023||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|April 2023||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|March 2023||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|February 2023||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|January 2023||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|December 2022||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|November 2022||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|October 2022||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|September 2022||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|August 2022||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|July 2022||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|June 2022||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|May 2022||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|April 2022||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|March 2022||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|February 2022||Footprint Report||Dashboard|
|January 2022||Footprint Report||Dashboard|