Following a successful 12-month pilot, Link, the UK’s largest cash machine network, is rolling out Cashback Without Purchase across the UK, enabling consumers to withdraw any amount up to £50 at small high street shops and retailers.
Already live in over 1000 locations, PayPoint is the first of Link’s Members to provide the service and will be offering it at more than 2,000 shops before the end of the year.
The initiative originally formed part of the Community Access to Cash Pilots, led by Natalie Ceeney CBE and was piloted in shops across Burslem in Staffordshire, Hay-on-Wye in Powys, Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire and Denny in Stirlingshire. Its future was secured beyond the pilots following an amendment to Financial Services Bill 2021, which became law earlier this year.
Consumers using the service can choose to withdraw any amount between 1p and £50 rather than being restricted to notes dispensed by ATMs. During the year long trial, more than 24,800 transactions have been made with an average withdrawal size of £27.81. Over £680,000 has been taken out using the channel so far.
Protecting access to cash is absolutely vital for millions of people who depend on it. Cashback Without Purchase is a convenient new way for people to withdraw notes and coins at their local retailer. The Consumer Council is delighted to see this important service rolled out across the country and will continue to seek innovative ways to support people who rely on cash for as long as it is needed.
Tracey Graham, Chair, Link Consumer Council
Falkland Islanders face being marooned without access to cash when its only ATM is disconnected in the coming weeks.
The free cash machine was installed in the capital Stanley last year to serve the community, plus the tens of thousands of tourists who visit annually. Its disconnection would leave Falklands residents with just one bank branch to serve its 3,400 inhabitants.
Businesses in the Falklands have traditionally relied on cash, making this ATM shutdown particularly punitive. Banking regulations have made it difficult for small firms to accept cards, according to Mastercard, which operates in the overseas territory. Credit and debit cards are not widely accepted outside Stanley.
The islands have their own currency, the Falkland Islands pound, which is fixed at a rate of one pound Sterling, but UK notes and coins are also accepted. The solitary bank on the islands, Standard Chartered, offers a cashback service.
Falklanders have been trapped in a dispute between two firms. The ATM, which processes around 1,000 transactions a month, half of which come from tourists, was installed by operator Note Machine.
Link, which connects cash points to banks and building societies, said it was “surprised” that an ATM in the Falklands was connected to its network, and that it falls outside of Britain’s home territories, where it exclusively operates.
The company has imposed additional costs on Note Machine after this realisation, which said it would have to disconnect the machine “in the coming weeks” as a result. While it could moved to another network, these extra fees have rendered the ATM uneconomical and so is being shut down.
Source: Daily Telegraph