Over the past decade, the establishment and development of the Financial Inclusion Programme has been critical to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable consumers in society

Access to free ATMs for all

LINK runs a Financial Inclusion Programme to ensure that all consumers have free access to cash.

This was designed and set up following work with the Treasury Select Committee under the chairmanship of John (now Lord) McFall in 2006.

It works by subsidising the lowest income area of the country to ensure that all have at least one free atm. The subsidy is paid via a 10p interchange premium available to any low-income area that doesn’t have a free ATM within a kilometre distance.  This has proven very successful in incentivising operators to provide free ATMs across the country.

Summary of current status

As part of the development of interchange, LINK announced in January 2018 that it is increasing the maximum amount of the subsidy to 30p and expanding the scope to the whole of the UK. This is to ensure that consumers maintain access to the same footprint of free ATMs as now for many years to come, despite declining usage of cash.  It means that that changes to interchange or consumer cash usage will not give a reason to withdraw or turn surcharging any community’s ATM.

Consumer and community groups, local authorities and councils, Members of Parliament and other interested parties can play a key role in identifying suitable sites in their area. If you know of a suitable location that might benefit from a free machine, please Suggest a Site or get in touch with us here.

LINK’s Financial Inclusion Mapping Tool

LINK has launched an online mapping tool which enables anyone to look at the ATM provision in their area along with deprivation and ATM coverage. If you would like to check any area in the UK to see how good consumers access to cash is, please use our Online Mapping Tool.

Access to £5 note to help consumers get small balances

We know from customer feedback that cash can help customers on low incomes manage their money more effectively and that these customers value the ability to get smaller balances from their accounts. Some LINK ATMs dispense £5 notes and to find your nearest one please use Advanced Search on our ATM Locator. If you are a member of the public and you would like to nominate an existing cash machine to dispense £5 notes, please get in please get in touch.

Nominating an ATM for Protected Status

LINK will review requests from communities who wish to nominate an ATM for Protected status. Please use this form if you wish to nominate a particular ATM.

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