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Convenience retailers have welcomed the findings of research into consumers’ and small businesses’ attitudes towards and need for access to cash.
The BritainThinks research commissioned by the Payment Systems Regulator shows that ‘the majority of consumers use cash regularly’, with 83% of consumers using a free-to-use ATM within the past month and 67% of consumers using cash more than once in the past week.
The research also found that cash is still the preferred payment method for 28% of consumers and that 52% have used cash in the past month because the payee only accepted cash.
James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores, said: “Our sector is vital in providing access to cash for consumers as local bank branches continue to disappear but it is becoming more difficult for retailers to host ATMs with the high cost of business rates and cuts in interchange fees.
“We urge the regulator to ensure that this research is used to ensure that convenience retailers are not being left to subsidise the ATM network. LINK must set interchange fees at a level which considers retailer and operator costs and encourages free to use machines to be kept in place.
The research accompanies a call for views launched by the Payment Systems Regulator into cash access, use and acceptance.
ACS’ full submission is available here.