We’re becoming more and more concerned about the challenges people are facing to access their cash free of charge. Have you been forced to pay for withdrawals?
We know that people pay for goods and services in a range of ways, but many of those who want to withdraw cash from a cashpoint are now being faced with fees just in order to access their own money.
We started by asking our supporters whether they had been affected by this worrying trend. Robin from Kirkcaldy told us:
“I stopped using the local cashpoint when it started charging me just to access my cash. I’m on a very tight budget and can’t afford to be spending out just to get the money I need for everyday life”
While Anita from Blackpool said:
“Being disabled means I don’t have the option of walking to the next free cash machine, so these charges shut me out of cash that’s important to my daily life. My town has also suffered from bank branch closures, making it hard to access the cash and financial services I need”
In fact, more than 1,000 supporters got in touch on this issue and shared the impact that charging cashpoints had had on their lives.
💷 Half of respondents said they faced fees of between 50p to 99p
💷 Almost a quarter said they were having to pay between £1.50 to £1.99
💷 83% of respondents said they would no longer use a cashpoint that had converted to fee-charging
Rapid changes to access
We decided to investigate further and discovered that from January to March 2019 almost 1,700 free cashpoints across the UK switched to charging, with more conversions planned.
There can be no doubt this will have an impact on people’s ability to access their cash free of charge.
These rapid changes are resulting in people having to travel further to access their cash free of charge, pay to get their cash out, or they are being forced to use alternative payment methods.
While digital payments are on the rise in the UK, there is still a real need for access to cash, with 2.2 million people almost entirely reliant on it in their daily lives.
These kind of negative consequences were inevitable with decisions on the cash system being made by multiple regulators and organisations; and it’s the consumer literally paying the price.
People shouldn’t have to pay
We don’t believe it’s fair that people should have to pay a fee before they can access their own money, but how do you feel?
Our Freedom to Pay campaign is calling on the Government to appoint a single regulator to oversee the whole system and protect people’s access to cash while it is still needed.
You can support the campaign by signing our petition and adding your voice.
Has the cash machine in your area switched from free to charging? Are you prepared to pay every time you wish to withdraw cash?