/ Money

Free cashpoints: can they really take them away from us?

Cashpoint

We recently discussed the possible closure of around 10,000 of the circa 70,000 free cashpoints around the UK. Many of you shared your concerns about this so we’ve called on the Payment Systems Regulator to investigate…

Link, the UK’s cash machine network, whose members include all the main debit card providers, is proposing to cut interchange fees by 20% over the next four years.

The consequence of this fee change is that some cashpoint providers could either remove cash machines because they’d no longer be profitable, or make up the loss by charging you to withdraw money.

We discussed this potential cashpoint crisis last month and a number you shared your concerns about this, John Peverel-Cooper told us:

As a registered disabled person and 87 years old, the length I can walk is limited. Any general reduction in the number of easily accessible ATMs will affect me considerably.

So we’ve raised our concerns with the financial regulator, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR). This week I wrote to Hannah Nixon, the Managing Director of the PSR.

Letter to the PSR

Dear Hannah

Which? has read with interest LINK’s proposal to reduce the level of its interchange fee which funds the free-to-use ATM network. We have significant concerns about the impact of its proposal for consumers and do not believe that they should be allowed to proceed without sufficient scrutiny from the regulator. Which? is therefore calling on the Payment Systems Regulator to conduct a wider market review of the use of the LINK, Mastercard, and Visa payment systems that takes into account other critical factors associated with the provision and use of cash.

Which? is concerned by LINK’s assumption that consumer demand for cash is in decline and that overall numbers of free-to-use ATMs should necessarily reduce. The Bank of England has stated that the total demand for banknotes increased by 10% last year, its fastest growth in a decade, and that the total value of cash spending in the UK and the aggregate value of ATM withdrawals has stayed relatively stable over the past decade. Cash remains the most widely used payment method in the UK, and is still the preferred payment method for many – 2.7 million people in the UK rely almost entirely on cash. A significant reduction in the number of free-to-use ATMs, leaving consumers without easy access to their money free of charge, would therefore have a clear impact on consumers.

While we welcome LINK’s commitment to the interests of consumers and to the wider public interest, its proposals appear to be driven by industry pressures, in particular pressure from banks to cut costs, combined with a possible lack of a level regulatory playing field between LINK and rival ATM schemes.

LINK’s consultation focuses on the level of the interchange fee. However, the setting of interchange fees raises complex policy and competition law concerns. Which? is concerned that the consultation states that LINK’s interchange methodology – previously explicitly approved by competition regulators – results in an uncompetitive interchange fee. Regulators have long recognised that interchange fees are not a normal competitive price. Interchange fees in Mastercard and Visa’s credit and debit payment schemes have been subject to longstanding competition and regulatory concerns and are now directly regulated by the EU Interchange Fee Regulation. In 2001, the OFT found that LINK’s interchange fee was anti-competitive, but approved it on the condition that LINK members set it at the level of the average ATM costs of participating members, as determined by an independent study. While the OFT decision may have formally expired, the same principles and competition law still applies. The PSR is best placed to subject LINK’s interchange fee to proper regulatory scrutiny.

Furthermore, LINK’s proposals cannot be considered in isolation from questions about wider market factors. Any decision should take into account potential alternative options for accessing cash and the wider landscape of the provision of banking services, as well as an assessment of the level of effective competition between alternative ATM schemes and payment service providers.

Finally, it is vital that the lessons are learnt from the Payment Council’s decision in 2009 to abolish cheques, which raised similar public policy and competition issues, particularly since cash use is much more significant and widespread than the use of cheques. Furthermore in light of the ongoing reduction in banks’ branch networks, these proposals must not send a signal that the industry has permission to reduce the ATM network in the future as they deem necessary.

Given that the PSR has responsibility for promoting competition, innovation, and the interests of payment-users of all the major UK payment systems, including LINK, Mastercard and Visa, it is well placed to conduct the review we propose. In light of the concerns that Which?, the Treasury Select Committee and other organisations have raised about the current proposals, I urge the PSR to not allow LINK’s current proposals to proceed before such a review.

I look forward to meeting in the New Year to discuss these issues further.

Yours sincerely

Caroline Normand
Director of Policy

Next steps

We now await a response from the PSR. In the meantime tell us, how often do you withdraw money from a cashpoint? Would you pay to withdraw your money?


Comments

Those who use a lot of cash seem to use cash points Much of what they pay with cash could be done with a card (Debit cards are better for use than Credit cards you need money in your account to be able to use them) It’s time some must realise that cash is slowly on is way out (there will always be needs for small amounts of coins ) but paying cash for everything will end sooner or later

Helen says:
16 December 2017

Hi bishbut,
I would be happy to use my debit card for everything, unfortunately there are still places and services where only cash is accepted. I use my local taxi company often who always require cash payment and my hairdresser also insists on cash payments. These are just 2 examples I’m pretty sure there must be others 🙂
Also, having been through times where budgeting was a must, it really is much safer to use cash, it makes one think twice when it has a physical presence you can see lessen, card payment still has an abstract feel to it and is too easy to lose track of 🙂

If cash is abolished, freedom and democracy will not be far behind! The banks will get a rake off of every transaction (that’s why they want it to happen!) and by extension, the government and all its’ snooping agencies will know every transaction we make. Banks have been known to close people’s accounts without giving any reason and what happens when the next financial crisis hits and all the ATM’s are shut down?! People with cash will be the only ones able to buy anything!

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We debate whether current accounts should be “free” or not, while recognising that they cost the banks money to operate. Should we pay for the use we make of them and, in return, receive interest on our deposits? The same argument applies to cash machines; they cost money to operate and are paid for by the banks.

I never used a cash machine for many years, partly because I used little cash and a once a month visit to my bank supplied it. However, cash is needed and I do believe that need will continue, just as cheques have a place. So we need access to cash. As far as I know we can all (or most of us) withdraw cash from our bank accounts through most post offices, if a bank branch is not to hand. Supermarkets offer cash back. Presumably if you buy goods with a debit card, other shops could also offer cash back – maybe even if you didn’t make a purchase. So I don’t see why, if each conurbation has a means to access cash, we must insist on a free cash machine being provided – paid for by us all in the end. If a 50p fee were the key to keeping one in service, I’d happily pay that for the convenience but probably no more.

I’m more concerned about keeping a banking facility open in most places, and see the “combined” premises representing all the major banks as one solution.

I use cash, mainly for small purchases but sometimes for larger spending – some traders prefer cash and appreciate the custom of those who are willing to pay that way.

I usually get cashback from the supermarket but sometimes need to have more than the £50 limit so from time to time I use a cash machine [usually the one outside the supermarket]. There is no guarantee that cashback will continue free of charge for ever but so long as it helps the store to reduce its banking and money-handling costs by not paying in large amounts of cash it will survive.

There was a time when cash was king – when people paid for their milk each week in cash in an old envelope rolled up and popped in the top of a bottle, and when the football pools collector*, or the man from the Pru*, or the brush salesman*, came round, but those days are gone and will not return. I pay the window cleaner by bank transfer and hand him a copy of the transaction confirmation advice so it’s in his bank before the windows are dry.

[* explanations are available for those who don’t recognise these terms]

Prefer cash ? why ?? Some of it will go into somebodies pocket not to be declared for tax purposes if not all Why are somethings cheaper when you pay cash as when you pay by card By paying cash are you assisting tax fraud There are places where I pay cash just for that reason but always prefer to pay by card usually only small amounts paid with cash

I 100% agree with you on cash jobs assisting fraud bishbut especially in the dodgy world of home improvements. Then they get accountants to justify them paying practically nothing on the rest of their income.

bishbut, supposing we consider how many people might barter. I’ll do this for you in return for you doing that for me (you decorate my house, I’ll fit you a new kitchen). No income generated for tax purposes. It does not need cash to change hands to avoid tax.

If I pay a trader in cash I do not see it as my place to concern myself about whether or not the income is declared for tax purposes. I endeavour to employ honest local people. We know their lifestyle. They are not bilking and leading a life of luxury or extravagance. If I engage a trader for a job, like a recent repaint of the exterior of the house, they do not know whether or not I will pay in cash when they quote for the work. They give a written quotation, I give them a written order, on completion of the work I pay the bill and they give me a receipt. As it happens there has been a shift in payment arrangements over the last year or so and more small or sole traders are asking for on-line funds transfers.

If people want to employ people on verbal terms with no paperwork and cash in hand that is up to them but they don’t have much of a leg to stand on if things go wrong. In my opinion the problems of tax evasion are likely to be more prevalent and more serious closer to the top of the economy rather than at the bottom.

Markets selling goods dont have card machines , my post office has cash only,we have legal reasons to need to pay with cash.you pay income tax on everything you buy, if you have to use your card,you will go over your limit so more cash

Use a Debit card it’s Credit cards that when used get you into debt Do not buy with a Credit card unless you have the means to pay the bill when it comes

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If I do not have the money to pay for anything I do not buy so I do not know about those charges I keep tabs on all my money where ever it might be (bank or pocket)That’s why I like online banking Check every minute if I want but don’t

We were brought up at a time when that attitude was much more prevalent, and it has stuck with us, bishbut. There are some things we cannot have the money to pay for – primarily a house. Maybe a car, although it was more common in my day to pay cash for an old banger to get you going. The point was that borrowing money in those days seemed to require the notion that your income was adequate to make the mortgage repayments, so you could afford the purchase.

Now I get the impression from some that they are entitled to certain possessions whether they can afford them or not. That leads to ever increasing debt on a credit card(s), and/or living off an “overdraft” that keeps increasing with fees; living off money they do not, or will not, expect to be able to repay. And why Christmas is introduced as a large debt problem illustrates the point – living beyond your means. I remember Christmases done on a shoestring through lack of resources – it was not the amount we spent but the thought and the spirit of Christmas that made it enjoyable.

You are quite right to check your resources regularly. Knowing what you have decides what you can afford to spend, if you choose. I’d like to see others given aids to help them do the same.

Its time for cash to die off and for digital payments both card and bitcoin to take over

Milkmen won’t like it.

The Bitcoins won’t fit in shopping trollies.

I would not object to paying to use an ATM if it reflected the cost of providing the service.

I use a couple of supermarkets each week and both have ATMs. The village shop has an ATM but it is a small one that can run out of cash, so cannot be depended on. I assumed that I could obtain cash from the Post Office counter, which is open each day, but apparently not – it only offers foreign currency and lottery payouts. 🙁

John has suggested that using cashback will help reduce costs for retailers. If that’s the case, maybe they should encourage us to request it.

Is the ATM in your village shop one of the slimline ‘portable’ models?

Hi Larry – Yes it is one of the small ones. I presume that the capacity is significantly less than ‘normal’ ATMs.

P Jermy says:
9 December 2017

Far from thinking cash use is on the decline, I actually think that it seems to be on the increase again – and the B of E comment seems to confirm this.
Its one sure way of controlling your spending – using debit cards is no real guarantee and as we seemingly continue to have to tighten our belts again, I think others will return to cash giving us more control.
However I do agree the days of free banking have long since gone – I believe I am right in saying most countries worldwide do not “benefit” from this and paying account fees may help defer the rapidly declining bank network in rural areas.
Cannot really think anyone should expect Banks to offer this service for free – it will have to be paid for somewhere. Why not in account fees? Why should banking services be “free”?

When accounts are in credit, banks are collecting the interest from them. When in debit, the fees more than cover the loan and eventually, the bank gains more than it has paid out. Up until now, this has been enough to make current accounts fee free, and some even offer interest on these, though this is balanced by monthly account charges. ATM’s are part of this service, and those that charge are owned by private companies who use this as a business opportunity. These charges can vary depending on where the machine happens to be. Banks seem to be dictating terms to the public -“Sorry we’re closing branches but there might be another one half an hour from here, until we close that.” Supermarkets have been good at providing cash inside and out and there are enough of them to obtain money out of hours, supplementing the dwindling post office counter. I see no reason to charge for getting money and every reason why banks should ensure we can get it. It is part of life that is now going backwards, so that what we knew is better than what we can expect in the future.

I agree. Banks do not come out as losers in any sense and continue to make money hand over fist. Perhaps the Bank of England should enter the market?

Why should Banks be losers? They provide a service and try to make money doing so. That is what capitalism is all about.
There is also the issue of course that most of them have not made any money since 2010!

I am amazed by the criticism of banks’ profits. Surely, no one would want to leave their money with a company that wasn’t trading successfully and making a surplus. I have a current and savings accounts with a mutual building society which makes a healthy surplus but that is ploughed back into the business in the form of better rates and terms, loyalty bonuses, improved coverage and facilities, and superior customer service. Notably it does not expend effort on corporate banking and financial services to the industrial, commercial and public sectors.

Profit is an unacceptable concept to some, John.

In the old days when we all had access to our own banks ,most of which who have not already closed or are about to close ,you could walk in and draw out virtually as much cash as you needed free of charge, last month my Yorkshire Bank closed and their cash machine disappeared another two banks in my town are closing in the near future and no doubt their machines will also disappear if as they say we are not using cash so much why is there queues outside the cash machines

Why should one pay to get one’s own money

You don’t have to. When your wages are paid in, you could withdraw them all in cash and handle your money yourself.

That’s alright until you want to pay regular bills and find cash is not so convenient as direct debits or cheques, then the services of the bank become attractive and worth paying for one way or the other.

This is exactly the point John. If you want to get on the bus, take your cash to the (now defunct) gas and electricity showroom to pay your energy bills, walk through the snow to the post office to pay for your telephone, take a bundle of cash to the council offices for your rates, buy something mail order and send a postal order or registered envelope……..all at cost of travel, postage stamps, fuel, fares and time, then abandon a bank. Their investment in people and technology enables you to distribute your “cash”, or withdraw it, 24h a day to and from anywhere at all at the push of a button, with, generally, no cost to yourself. Why should you have that service and expect to pay nothing?

OK, you don’t pay nothing. Assume your average balance is £1250 a month and they use it for mortgages and personal loans to others. They’ll maybe make £60 a year gross, and pay you maybe £10 interest. So your account costs you £1 a week. Would you prefer to go back to the days of cash and postal orders?

Your way of thinking is out dated I’m afraid. If you walk everywhere to make the payments above in cash you are exercising and being more healthy and also not burning fuel in a car or on the electricity using computers to do online payments! But increasingly more companies and services are not accepting cash for many things.

It is often easier for these companies and services to accept direct debit, or electronic payments. Do they pass on these costs to the customer? Usually I would argue not! So they save money and now the banks now want to put onus of cash machines on us the public, when they make enough profit to cover it.

The fact is, the banking system itself is outdated and there is no good reason to let banks charge the fee’s they charge just to move money, or make payments.

Cyptocurrency is the way forward. Decentralised secure payments systems that noone can manipulate and control. I already use them to pay for most things in my house from eating out to groceries and transport. If you believe the in the bogie man then things like Bitcoin are used solely by a darkweb of criminals (just as cash) but money has been proven to be electronically laundered in record quantities by Barclays and HSBC) so ignore that project fear.

Its the future of money, and once adopted we wont need to use the cash machine or pay 2-5% to Visa or MasterCard.

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Lynchy – I think you missed the irony in Malcolm’s comment.

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There are holding costs with gold, and it does not give an income, so it is not a suitable investment for many people. And if you want to turn it back into cash it’s no fun if the authorities have decided to keep the price artificially low as you say is happening at the moment.

I suspect that, just as when you ask 10 economists for their forecasts you will get 11 different predictions. You’ll always find one that can “foresee” a particular financial crisis. Mostly we look at what happened, see who came closest, and then elevate their status.

That’s right. The correct prediction of the 2008 turbulence [hardly a “big bank crash”] could have been beginner’s luck or a happy coincidence. I wonder if he or she used their prediction to their advantage; if not they clearly have no confidence in their own analysis.

Most people are always wiser after the event !!

Some of the best and freshest produce, butter, cheese, eggs, and home made bread and cakes are to be found on the markets and at farmers’ markets where you almost always have to pay in cash.

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Would you not keep your gold in a secure place at home, duncan (a costly safe perhaps) and then pay insurance on it to make sure if you were burgled your investment’s value was not lost?

You’ve beaten me on the “well-known saying”, Duncan. Who said it and when, and in what context?

I find taxi-drivers prefer cash because it is usually accompanied by a tip; likewise my hairdresser. These are the people that really run the economy.

I don’t think access to and use of cash will be much diminished in my lifetime.

I would imagine that being able to physically take possession of a worthwhile amount of bullion would be quite an exercise requiring a journey to an authorised bullion vault and a money-laundering investigation into the funds you were using to pay for it. Then when you came to sell it you would have to prove that it was legitimately owned, so keeping the release certificate secure [and in a different place in a fireproof box] would be as important as keeping the gold bar(s) out of reach. This is why those who wish to keep their wealth this way tend to pay a bullion company to manage it for them and take all the risks.The gold would not actually leave the vault in which it was stored.

An alternative to bullion is gold coins but any significant number poses similar problems and buying something because you like the look of it is not necessarily the best basis for an investment.

Gold jewellery is not an investment. Much of the initial purchase price is represented by the design and craft work which have no intrinsic value. You still have to keep it safe, insure it, and be careful where you wear it.

Luckily I shall never have these worries.

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I am still stumped, Duncan. I have read a summarised history of the early days of the Bank of England but can’t find any relevant references. The first Governor was Sir John Heublon (1694-97), and apart from a certain John Ward (1701-03) no one else stands out – long list of nobodies whose names have not even survived in the names of City streets or buildings. So this “well-known” saying remains a mystery, at least to me.

Perhaps the words “I don’t care who runs the country as long as I run (and control) the money” are of American origin [seems reasonable, possibly tweeted], or could even be misquoted or misattributed. Maybe someone else will know.

Perhaps it has been misspelt, and for “runs” and “run” read “ruins” and “ruin”. Probably said by one or more Chancellors of the Exchequer (including those who leave notes about there being “no money left – hee he”)

The (mis)quote is from Amschel Rothchild. And they’re still debating what he meant. He said it around 1810. Probably just after supper.

The full quote is “Give me control of a nations money supply, and I care not who makes it’s laws”. Not sure the incorrectly placed apostrophe was in the original.

Thank you, Ian, and for correcting the quote – I can now look it up and fill a worrying gap in my education.

It could not have been Amschel Rothschild saying that in 1810 because his dates are 1955-1996. It must have been his ancestor Mayer [or Meyer] Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812). I can find no reference to him being involved in the Bank of England which had been going for over a hundred years at the time Rothschild set up a bank in London.

There seem to be several variants of the quotation, several alternative dates, and other attributions. Some authorities say the actual words were : “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws“. This is attributed to Mayer Amschel Rothschild mostly with the date 1790 [not 1810], the year before the establishment of the First Bank of the United States, but no primary source for this is known.

A variant is attributed to Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1777-1836) mostly with the year 1815 : “I care not what puppet is placed upon the throne of England to rule the Empire on which the sun never sets. The man who controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply“. He was clearly paraphrasing his relative.

I found this in Wikipedia under “Conspiracy” where there is lots more very interesting stuff.

Now, where was I? . . . Oh, yes, cashpoints. Here’s something of which the Rothschilds would be proud: an early device developed in Japan supplied money on loan for three months at 5% interest. It was called a “Computer Loan Machine” but little more is known about it and how long it survived. A typical banker’s approach to customer service.

It’s certainly the basis for most of the commonly held conspiracy theories involving money, financial control and world domination.

No free cash machines ……Just another way of getting money from you
Like the 50p charge if you pay by debit card in some shops…..WHY……
Just like the car and motorbike insurance charging you a cancel charge plus admin fee plus full amount of the cover cost. even thou its been sworn of the road no fault of your own.
Admin charge …….IT WAS SENT TO ME BY EMAIL….i had to pay extra if i wanted paper form
JOKE

Hello Michelle. I offer some possible answers:

1. There are 55,000 free-to-use ATM’s in the UK but their distribution is uneven with concentrations in urban areas and places with high footfall but more scattered in rural or remote areas where charge machines are sometimes more prevalent. This is to some extent understandable because they cost a lot to maintain and service but in the absence of any central controlling authority their provision is bound to be hit-&-miss.

With most people having to visit a commercial centre roughly every week or two there is no general concern about coverage. But when 20% of the machines are due to be phased out this could leave large areas and larger populations without access to a free service. This might bring additional providers into the network where up to now there has been no commercial incentive, and more petrol stations, roadside service stops and garden centres could install them in the hope of attracting customers for their mainstream services.

I expect every major supermarket and and a high percentage of the ‘local’ or ‘express’ type of mini-supermarkets has an ATM or offers cashback at the checkout. Aldi and Lidl are the significant exceptions but in areas where they are alone they might consider installing one. Most people need to go somewhere to get food and provisions from time to time and with machines now offering up to £200 I doubt if there will be serious inconvenience caused by a shortage of cash.

2. Some shops need to charge for accepting card payments because there are merchant processing costs, only a few pence per transaction perhaps, but if lots of people just want to buy a newspaper [where the profit margin is negligible] the cost of processing card payments exceeds the value of the trade. The same is true of cigarettes and many other small purchases. The charge is at the retailer’s discretion and is variable; it might be associated with a value limit or could be on a sliding scale. So long as it is declared at the point of paying [orally or in writing] it is legal to make such a charge.

3. Allegedly due to intense competition, insurance companies are keeping their headline premiums down for all their policy-holders and recovering some of their operating costs through fees and charges many of which apply exceptionally in defined circumstances related to the individual policy. These should all be set out in the policy document and might be in the terms and conditions set out in [or attached to] the application form. If they were not declared the charges can be challenged.

When buying insurance on-line applicants are asked to read these documents and to confirm so in order to proceed. Burying them in lengthy and difficult documents is possibly a technique used by some companies. Making the documents awkward to print off is another method of concealing them and I am afraid some very reputable companies do that. Charging for cancellations, changes of address [with no changes to risk], name changes, and for paper documents have become the norm, to the point where some companies now use them as a marketing point by stating that there will be no charge for changes of address [for example].

Insurance companies are under enormous competitive pressure to reduce their premiums as customers increasingly shop around for cover, but every time the insurers do so the Chancellor of the Exchequer seems to take advantage of the vacuum by raising the Insurance Premium Tax: it started at 5% [2011] then went up to 6%, then 9.5%, to 10%, and is now at 12% [standard rate]. At this rate it will soon catch up with VAT. In response companies are introducing new exclusions, qualifications to cover and special conditions, higher excesses, and cover limits. A recent innovation is a renewal administration fee [£20 typical]. It pays to shop around but it is vital to check the cover is like-for-like.

Some small shops charge you to use card because they’re using old systems that relie on using dial-up which costs

No, Larry, they charge customers for using a card because of the merchant transaction charges they have to pay which on a small purchase can exceed the profit.

I note that some believe cards answer all problems and cash is not really necessary.

Seems that we , and the banks, all seem happy to forget the incidence of power failures, broken links, mainframe woes etc. Or a branch s******g up a limit request so the expected funds are not available. Or losing your card access as they had been compromised and you were awaiting new ones

There also seems to be a conviction that failures are rare and will get rarer but I think that is an expectation rather than a reality. But then where on the Web is there a record of major failures? I believe it exists but thas a consumer I would like this knowledge to be easily available. It would also be nice to see how or if inconvenienced customers had recompense.

My plea is that you realise cash is THE back-up system and always have some available.

It is not necessarily you who could benefit. I read recently of a stranger being generous to someone who had lost their money for a journey. I imagine giving cash would be an easier option if one was being charitable.

You cannot do without cash ..Cash is sill needed but carrying large amounts is not necessary now but you can still manage without a card many do !

Many of us do plan for the unexpected and keep cash in case it is needed. Apart from ATMs being empty or out of use for other reasons I have had no problems so far. As I see it, cash is still a fairly universal means of payment, London Transport excepted.

There was a spate of comments a couple of years ago from people seemingly dependent upon their one card. They expected compensation whenever a card transaction failed, for example if the provider’s system was temporarily down. £50 seemed the norm. That would be donated by all the other card holders in the end of course, but is yet another illustration of a culture I find unhealthy – compensation given whether you really suffer a financial loss through negligence, or not. Cards can occasionally fail (I must admit mine never has); be prepared – used a debit card or cash. Trains may be cancelled or run late; it happens and if it matters, go for the one before. Aircraft may be delayed; if you get home an hour or two late why should you get a large payment (funded by the rest of us) unless it involves actual expense that would not otherwise have been made? Should we extend this to a personal level where if we make a mistake at work, if we take a friend to the airport but get stuck in traffic, we can be expected to hand over compensation?

I visited the local micropub yesterday evening. A couple of people in their 30s arrived and one ordered two halves of beer and pulled out a card to pay for it. Fortunately the other chap had a £10 note because it’s a tiny pub and does not take cards, which I had not realised. We had a chat and they mentioned another local pub that only takes cash, but has a notice to this effect.

I would probably leave if the pub didn’t take cards

If I was drinking there I would probably be pleased that you left

Would you expect compensation if the ATM is empty? I guess some might.

Hello, and update for you today – LINK’s independent board has said that it will protect all free-to-use ATMs which are a kilometre or more from the next nearest free-to-use ATM. It said this will happen regardless of any wider funding changes. Its consultation on interchange rates will be published in January.

That’s good news, Lauren. It’s worth remembering that the banks do work together and allow us to make free withdrawals from their competitors’ ATMs. I would like to see the banks working together to provide shared branches in areas where it would be uneconomic to have individual branches. I used a shared branch for years and it worked very well.

We have suggested this a number of times. It would seem a good topic for Which? to explore with the banks and let us know if it is feasible on a wider scale.

I read that 80% of ATM’s are within 300 metres of another one so there is considerable scope to rationalise them. They must be quite costly to maintain and stock, but possibly not as expensive as employing two tellers behind a counter with all the associated facilities.

I was in the Nationwide BS yesterday when one of the ATM’s was being repaired or serviced. Talk about exploded diagram! It took up half the floor area with all its innards out. I realised there was a lot of machinery inside the ATM’s but had no idea how much and how complex it was. Given that they have to take payments in, dispense envelopes, and dish money out, as well as process card verification and have a basic computer touch screen, plus a vault to store notes in two or three denominations, all in a compact space, it’s not surprising that the banks want to economise on the numbers in use.

There appears to be an ignorance shown by the banks that there are still hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of elderly people who are not computer literate nor fully understand the use of cards. These people are being totally ignored in the banks’ arrogant quest for ever increasing profits. Most of these people still only understand cash as their source of payment.

Lakhbir Nar says:
15 December 2017

movement to a cash free society

What the UK population seem to not know is that the “Conservative-DUP minority government” has screwed up everything our economy our pensioners and the vulnerable and disabled people who cannot work they have lost their jobs or benefits. This government does not work for our people only the bankers large corporations and big businesses. The Bank of England is controlled by the International Bankers and the Rothschild banking system. They control our entire money system. Eventually they will remove cash entirely and force our people to use debit cards and tempt us with credit cards and loans. Debt is profitable to the banks. We have been lied to so many times by the government the people seem to not have the energy to tell this government that it should be working for the people not the Rothschild banking system IMF or large corporations and big businesses. I would urge you all to read on Wikipedia or Google “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and then look at our economy our pensioners and the vulnerable and disabled people. All countries monies are controlled by the International Bankers and the Rothschild banking system except for 5 countries that the US call “rogue states”

Bolivia removed the Rothschild banking system and the International Bankers. Bolivia was a very poor country now its economy is growing GDP has grown significantly and the people are starting to get better wages and living conditions.

Iceland also removed the Rothschild banking system and other international bankers. “Austerity measures” do not exist in Iceland.

Iran does not have Rothschild banking systems. The money the government has is given back to the Iranian citizens via free fuel or very reduced prices.

Should we not do the same? Remove the Rothschild banking system and other international bankers?

When profit means more than Human life, we are in a bad situation. When money has more value than its denomination we are in an even worse scenario and the people will suffer not the 1%

If the 99% stopped working for a full day the money the government makes on that day would far less than when the 99% are at work.

Wales has already been hit with bank closures and pensioners are now forced to go to far away from their home, a crippled pensioner used the local bank he relied on the bank it took him half hour to get to the bank now it takes 2-3 hours to get to the nearest bank.

Why are we allowing this in the UK? Why have our people got little to none interest in politics?

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Cash allows a degree of autonomy, to remove cash machines also automatically increases the reliance on credit cards, and reduces privacy, as every penny you spend can be traced when using credit cards.