Thousands of free ATMs in small towns may be threatened with closure due to innovations, which became known recently.
At the moment, bank customers can use ATMs of competitive institutions to withdraw cash at no additional cost for this service. Accordingly, those banks and building societies, which have more customers, pay more so that the service remains free. For this reason, financial institutions put pressure on Link (the company managing most ATMs in the UK) to reduce the commission for using ATMs, but experts fear that this is an imperfect solution.
Today, Link has announced its decision to reduce the commission, paid by banks and building societies, from 25 pence to 20 pence per transaction. The company also promised that free ATMs located 1 km away from the nearest free machine will not be closed.
But experts fear that the new system will prove inefficient and lead to the closure of thousands of ATMs. Ron Delnevo, executive director of the ATM Industry Association, told the BBC that 30,000 machines could be closed. He added: "The loss of any of them will be terrible, but if the innovation comes into force, 25-30 thousand ATMs will stop working."
Consumer Protection Group ‘Which?’ recently discovered that in the UK there are more than 200 regions in which access to ATMs is poor or absent altogether. In addition, three quarters of hospitals with paid ATMs do not have free alternatives.