Cash machine operator LINK has opened its 50th free to use ATM in Kinloss, Moray as part of an initiative to ensure every single UK high street has free access to cash.
LINK said it has so far received 3,800 requests from members of the public since launching the initiative in October 2019, with funding from the banking industry.
The operator added that it is still looking to hear from communities where there is a high street with a minimum of five shops without free access to cash from via a Post Office or ATM within 1km or where circumstances such as geography or traffic may make travel to the nearest access point difficult.
When a location is identified to have a problem, LINK will visit to see if there is an appropriate location to install a new free to use ATM or whether an existing pay to use machine can become free to use. The operator expects to install 100 ATMs in communities to guarantee free access to cash.
“It’s great to see so many communities contacting us, we’ve responded to all enquiries to date and will continue to install free ATMs for communities that need them,” commented Nick Quin, LINK’s head of financial inclusion.
“We’re delighted to be supporting communities across the country with free access to cash. COVID-19 has proven that the most vulnerable people in society will continue to require free access to cash and we’re determined to respond to that need.”
While the pandemic has seen many people increasingly using digital payment methods, research conducted by the FCA highlights that there are approximately five million adults that continue to rely on cash.
“If you think your community has a problem, then firstly we always ask people to check the LINK ATM locator, as the majority of locations have good access. Not everyone is aware that there’s a free to use machine nearby or that the Post Office provide an over-the-counter service. We’ve heard from communities where ATMs are in shops that have restricted opening times, or on the other side of a busy road, and wherever there is a genuine issue we will act. Communities will always know their areas better than we can, so we want to hear from more,” Quin added.