Thousands Of ATM Machines To Start Charging 95p For Cash Withdrawals
A company that owns around a fifth of the UK's free cash machines is introducing a 95p withdrawal fee.
Notemachine is to apply the charge to around half of its 10,500 cash machines, with the ATMs under contract with big businesses, such as supermarkets, expected to remain unaffected.
The move is likely to have the biggest impact on the elderly, small businesses and those living in rural areas.
The charge is being introduced because the banks who pay ATM companies, such as Notemachine, cut their fees. The change means Notemachine is now paid 22.5p per transaction, instead of 25p per transaction.
Notemachine chief executive, Peter McNamara, criticised the banks for reducing their fees.
According to the Daily Mail, he said: "It's just not sustainable and it's causing a collapse in the number of ATMs in the country.
"A lot of areas - particularly rural areas, and urban areas outside the city centre - face a really severe risk of either not having ATMs or being forced to pay for cash withdrawals.
"The people who most need cash are people who probably need to budget very carefully, and there are many millions of them."
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According to Link - the organisation that determines the fee level - more than 3,200 ATMs have closed since January 2018, meaning there are still 51,300 across the country.
A Link spokesman said: "Free access to cash is vital for consumers and the UK enjoys extensive coverage that Link is committed to protecting. We will investigate to make sure there is no negative impact on access to cash for consumers."
When Link announced the plan to reduce ATM operator fees last summer, Which? money editor, Harry Rose, raised concerns about cash access.
He said: "With hundreds of cashpoints closing every month, we have serious concerns that, far from protecting consumers' access to cash, Link's plans risk destroying it.
"These cuts could see millions of people who rely on cash in their daily lives struggling through these closures - with severe consequences for many communities and businesses.
"The impact of these cuts is already clear - with machines closing at a frightening pace.
"The regulator must act now to stop further closures and ensure that consumers aren't suddenly stripped of their access to cash."
The ATM network is monitored by Payment Systems Regulator, who said they will ensure that cash remains readily available to people all over the country.
According to the Daily Mail, a spokesman said: "We are aware that some ATMs have changed from free-to-use ATMs to pay-to-use. We are looking into this and if it impacts on the commitment Link has made to us to protect the broad geographic spread of free-to-use ATMs, we will take action."
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