Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Cash machine use fell 38% in 2020 due to Covid contact fears


A sharp fall in cash machine usage last year has prompted a warning that more ATMs could end up being closed or imposing fees.

Link, the UK’s largest cash machine network, said its latest data showed there was a 38% decline in ATM transactions in 2020, caused in large part by the coronavirus crisis.

John Howells, Link’s chief executive, said this sharp decline in ATM usage “brings significant problems” and “places enormous strain on the cash infrastructure”.

He told the Guardian: “ATMs are run by commercial operators and as we use less cash, if they aren’t making money on those cash machines, they will either close or become charging. We welcomed the government’s promise of legislation after it was announced in the last budget, and this is now needed urgently.”

The coronavirus outbreak has rapidly accelerated the adoption of contactless payment, and many people prefer not to handle physical money at the moment because of the potential health risks.

Link said that, in total, £81bn was withdrawn from ATMs in 2020 compared with £116bn in 2019 – a fall of 30%. Meanwhile, the total number of transactions (made up of cash withdrawals and balance inquiries) fell from 2.6bn to 1.6bn over the period – a 38% drop.

At the same time, the number of ATMs fell by 10% – from 60,600 to 54,300. Just under one in four of all ATMs are fee-charging.

Link said ATM transactions had typically been falling by about 10% a year. However, in April 2020, ATM transactions initially plunged by up to 68%.

Howells said the pandemic “has changed our relationship with cash … Our research shows 75% say they will use less cash going forward.” But he added that millions of people still rely on cash and were not ready or able to go digital.

Link has 35 members and is a voluntary scheme, so one or more banks could in theory decide to leave if the costs were too great. Link’s interchange fee – a payment made by the card issuer to the ATM operator each time a machine is used – is about 21p a transaction.

Natalie Ceeney, the chair of the independent Access to Cash Review, said the UK was fairly unique in that it had an extensive free-to-use ATM network, plus free cash withdrawals and deposits over post office counters. “However, this is all run on a voluntary basis. If just one large bank left the Post Office agreement or the agreement with Link for ATMs, we could see this whole model collapse,” she added.

In the 2020 budget the government announced plans to introduce legislation to protect access to cash for those who need it, though the industry said it was still waiting for this.

Read more:
Cash machine use fell 38% in 2020 due to Covid contact fears

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter THE PHILIPPINES under President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. would probably keep close economic ties with China despite a...


THE PHILIPPINE Justice department has invited a forensic expert from the United Nations (UN) to improve local capacity in investigating extrajudicial killings in connection...


A CIVIC group on Sunday asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to be fair in its clampdown against tax evaders, citing the tax...


THE PHILIPPINE legislature, with majority of both chambers allied with the Marcos administration, should exercise its authority as an independent body in keeping watch...


SENATOR Sherwin T. Gatchalian has filed a resolution to look into the implementation of a law that protects students from bullying and other forms...


THE HOUSE Speaker on Sunday directed the agriculture and food committee to conduct a probe and possibly recommend the filing of charges against alleged...

You May Also Like


Browsing history makes referring to sites and pages you’ve visited in the past seamless. It’ll help you recall what page you checked out on...


The minute that any question pops into your head, you can simply ask Google. No longer do we have to pour over books and...


Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...

Disclaimer:, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.