The future accessibility to cash through ATMs has been a growing concern in the UK over recent years. So much so that coin-op trade association Bacta has been at the vanguard of the calls to keep cash in the public consciousness. Last week, the body met with cash machine network LINK to examine the impact on amusement businesses.
Bacta has acted on concerns over the removal of ATMs from members’ premises, with chief executive John White and National President elect, James Miller recently meeting with John Howells, CEO of LINK, the UK’s cash machine network.
The senior level meeting, which also involved LINK deputy chief executive Adrian Roberts, was an opportunity for Bacta to explain the issues impacting members and the communities they serve. “It was an engaging and I think a productive meeting during which we were able to explain our concerns at the same time as learn more about how LINK works and the business model,” stated John White.
“Effectively every cash machine in the UK is connected to LINK, and LINK is the only way banks and building societies can offer their customers access to cash across the whole of the UK. While a lot of the industry has been focussed on the rise of Contactless payments, it’s clear that cash is still incredibly important with LINK withdrawals sometimes exceeding £10 billion per month.”
He added: “LINK share our concerns over the removal of ATMs and they have asked us to come forward with more information on the scale of the problem and its implications for Bacta members and their businesses. They will then take this forward and help Bacta to open a dialogue with the ATM providers. It was a very positive meeting and I will be writing to Bacta members asking for the information that we need to progress the industry’s arguments.”
Reflecting on the meeting, John Howells, chief executive of LINK told Coinslot: “While many consumers are turning to alternative payment methods such as contactless cards, it is vital we continue to provide free access to cash to those who need it.”
All the UK’s main debit and ATM card issuers are LINK members with more than 100 million LINK-enabled cards in circulation, accounting for one million transactions an hour.