Did you visit an ATM last week?

Weekly ATM value and volume figures 20 December 2020.

Key observations for week ending 20 December:

  • Last week ATM transactions increased by 1.1 million (when compared to the previous week).
  • Last week’s ATM transactions were 19.6 million less than the equivalent week in 2019.
  • Weekly ATM use has reduced by 38% (compared to equivalent week in 2019).

Weekly LINK ATM transaction volumes

The latest figures from LINK show the continued effect of the UK’s increasing digital payment habits with the local lockdowns and now the stricter Tier 3/4 announcements which came into force last week.

Last week saw a total of 31.8 million ATM transactions which represents an increase of 1.1 million ATM transactions over last week; in 2019 the increase was 3.3 million for the same week.

For 2020, this is a reduction of 19.6 million transactions when compared with the equivalent week last year – thus although 2020 is following the same seasonal trend the overall demand for cash continues to track below that seen in previous years.

Source: LINK

Source: LINK

Weekly LINK ATM transaction volumes

Source: LINK

Last week ATM volumes reduced by 38% (compared to 2019).

Lockdown 1.0 vs Lockdown 2.0

The graph below demonstrates that post Lockdown 1.0 the weekly volume of ATM transaction rose from a low point of 20 million to circa 30 million at the point we entered Lockdown 2.0.

This shows the impact as Lockdown 2.0 was ending – first showing an upward trend and then levelling out back at the levels seen prior to the local lockdowns in October.

The graph now shows cash usage increasing in line with seasonal trends albeit more muted than in previous years. If this is to continue we would expect a further spike in the current week followed by a sharp decline at the end of December.

Last week we were watching to see whether seasonal purchases, gifts and the easing of restrictions over Christmas would impact usage – with the changes brought in this week we will see how great the impact will be from the Tier 4 announcements and the tightening of restrictions which have now been introduced.

Source: LINK

This latest chart from LINK now tracks volume (blue) and value (red) – and we will continue to track the impact of Tier 3 and Tier 4 restrictions on our cash and digital payment habits over the final weeks of the year.

Daily ATM Volumes

Source: LINK

With the ending of national lockdowns on 2 December as expected an increase in usage was seen with the reduction compared to 2019 at 32% rather than 50% in the final week of lockdown.

Poor weather perhaps contributed to this increasing again to a reduction of 42% over 2019 during the first weekend post lockdown.

A subsequent increase in activity in 2020 coupled with a slight fall in 2019 leaves the latest reduction at 30% – still a substantial difference compared with 2019.

Thus the impact on cash usage can still be seen from the ongoing impact of local lockdowns and sticky digital payment habits developed over the course of this year.

Source: LINK

The graph above shows daily LINK values when compared to previous years – as expected, post lockdown, a similar trend is reflected in the value of ATM transactions.

The trend is following that seen in previous years but at a markedly reduced level.

This will be something to watch over the next few days as despite all the various restrictions yesterday still saw £238 million dispensed from Link ATMs which is the highest for a Monday since the beginning of March.

Monthly LINK ATM transaction volumes

Source: LINK

Monthly LINK ATM transaction volumes for November were 118 million with the second lockdown impacting activity following a static period over the last 4 months.


Lockdown 2.0 was only four weeks (#IOFW) and therefore although perhaps not long enough to cause a further shift in behaviour, it does appear to have reinforced the habits developed during the year with cash usage back to pre-second lockdown levels but no higher despite seasonal spikes seen at this time in previous years.

As we enter the final weeks of 2020, how will the increase in restrictions in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England impact ATM withdrawals and the use of cash.

Rolling volume change (compared to 2019):

  • w/e 18 October 2020: -36%
  • w/e 25 October 2020: –37%
  • w/e 1 November 2020: -38%
  • w/e 8 November 2020: -38%
  • w/e 15 November: -43%
  • w/e 22 November: -43%
  • w/e 29 November: -44%
  • w/e 6 December: -38%
  • w/e 13 December: -36%
  • w/e 20 December: -38%

Rolling value change (compared to 2019):

  • w/e 18 October 2020: -28%
  • w/e 25 October 2020: -30%
  • w/e 1 November 2020: -30%
  • w/e 8 November 2020: -30%
  • w/e 15 November: -36%
  • w/e 22 November: – 36%
  • w/e 29 November: -39%
  • w/e 6 December: -29%
  • w/e 13 December: -28%
  • w/e 20 December: -33%

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