Cash crunch looms if ATM machine deal isn’t approved
UK consumers are being warned the country could lose 35% of its free-to-use ATM cash machines without a deal to secure the network’s £1bn annual running costs. The claim was made by the ATM Industry Association as members of the Link network – including major banks – squabble over the future funding for its 70,000-strong cash points.
The trade body said that information it had received from independent operators at the centre of the row meant that more than 8,000 of the current 54,000 free-to-use ATMs were at risk of being turned off or charging customers for withdrawals. It warned of the prospect of “cash deserts” across major towns and cities under that scenario. London would lose the most machines, it said, while Belfast, Glasgow, Birmingham, Sheffield and Cardiff would also suffer badly though the organisation stressed no-one could be sure of the outcome of the negotiation process.
However it’s my personal opinion that we’re moving ever slowly but surely towards a cashless society, and the use of ATM machines could disappear over the coming decade. With the introduction of NFC payments available on smartphones via the use of facilities such as apple pay, cash as a form of transaction is looking increasingly outdated. This fact coupled with the government desire to remove the criminal money laundering abilities of cash means that those notes in your wallet might not be around for very much longer.