Cash Tracker

Cash Tracker

Cash has been in steady decline in recent years as many people have turned to different ways of paying. Back in 2006, cash accounted for 62% of payments. It’s predicted that by 2031 this will be down to just 6%.

But that’s still billions of payments, and the people who rely on cash are often some of the most vulnerable people in society.

Cash Access UK

In the UK most cash is acquired via the LINK Cash Access and ATM Network, this network connects virtually all the UK’s ATMs and provides communities with access to cash through services such as cash at retailers’ tills and Banking Hubs.

Whether you are cashless, an avid user of cash or somewhere in between here’s ten facts that you need to know.

A boost from better weather but volumes are still below previous years’

During the Summer daily LINK ATM transaction volumes have been consistently less than recent years’ and cool wet weather probably did not help overall activity.

Better weather at the end of August and the beginning of September had narrowed the gap but at the time the graph below was produced daily ATM transaction volumes seem to be drifting downwards again despite the good weather.

Source: LINK

With more withdrawn at each visit, whilst the number of ATM visits appears to be declining, the value withdrawn overall has been more resilient – still down but closer to previous years’ particularly when the sun shines.

Source: LINK

Thursdays still needed a heatwave.

Daily LINK transactions graph showing Thursdays’ over the last four years – at the time the graph was produced it shows this year still being washed away in the rain, especially when compared to last year when the heatwave was here in the UK. It will be interesting to see when the graph is updated if Thursdays’ volumes benefitted from the better weather in the early weeks of September.

Source: LINK

Year on year ATM transaction volume changes

A long period of stability ended in July 2017, after which we saw slowly increasing reductions. Then COVID19, but is the downward trajectory re-starting?

The volume of ATM transactions has decreased by 30% (pre-COVID)

Weekly LINK ATM Transaction Volumes – for the week ending 27 August the volume of ATM Transactions decreased by 30% when compared to the final week before the first COVID lockdown.

The volume of ATM transactions has decreased by 7% when compared to the equivalent week in 2022

For the week ending 27 August:

  • The volume of ATM transactions increased by 5% when compared to the previous week.
  • The volume of ATM transactions decreased by 7% when compared to the equivalent week in 2022.
  • The volume of ATM transactions decreased by 11% when compared to the equivalent week in 2021.

In the week ending 27 August there were nearly 30 million ATM transactions

The end of the month was boosted a little by better weather but still muted compared to previous years’

Source: LINK

The weekly transactions’ graph shows the volume of transactions having their usual mid-August dip as people holiday abroad – with the numbers doing so back to pre-Covid levels.

Source: LINK

The Volume of ATM Transactions in August down on last year by 6.6%

There were 128 million LINK ATM transactions in August, down slightly from July, and down 6.6% on last year.

Year to date volumes are down on 2022 by 5.2%.

Source: LINK

Source: LINK

The latest date for ATM Transaction Values shows £6.9bn for August, only down 1.7% on last year as people continue to take out more cash on each visit.

This has also contributed to the year to date resilience in the value of cash withdrawn with the value only reducing by 1.3% compared to 2022.

Source: LINK

Source: LINK

Average ATM cash withdrawals continue to rise (now at £83.33), as while people are visiting ATMs less often, they are taking out more cash when they do.

This suggests consumers’ use of cash itself is changing little, even if they are visiting ATMs less often. This is likely to be driven to some degree by inflation, with consumers needing more cash to buy the same basket of goods or a service and any reduction in spending being in purchases they would normally make with a card.

Source: LINK

On average every adult withdrew £1,500 from cash machines in 2022

‘Cash is still vital to so many people,’ says Nick Quin, head of financial inclusion at cash machine network Link.  ‘Millions of people are choosing new ways to pay but, last year, on average, every adult in the UK still withdrew almost £1,500 from cash machines across the country.’

Given this ongoing reliance and in the absence of any further significant shifts in behaviour we expect to see a similar demand for cash to continue throughout 2023.

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