/ Money

It’s about time more cashpoints stocked fivers

Five Pound Note

Don’t you just hate breaking into that £20 note when you’re buying a cheeky Twix? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if the hole-in-the-wall spat out fivers? Now there’s a cashpoint revolution doing just that.

ATM operator Bank Machine has begun a roll-out of £5-only cash machines – spewing out fivers for all. The Bank of England has previously tried in vane to increase the circulation of £5 notes, but they tend to get tattier, quicker – so they don’t hang around very long.

But banks have long been reluctant to pop the poor little bluey’s into their cash machines, believing it’ll require refilling them more often. Yet, pilot machines in London have shown that this isn’t the case. Why? Because people withdraw less cash from £5-only machines – an average of £20-£25 compared to £60 from normal ATMs.

Although splattering out just fivers might be a tad annoying, it’s bound to help with budgeting. Especially when many banks are introducing high over-the-counter withdrawal minimums (we’re looking at you Nationwide).

So, 21 new £5-only machines are making their way to Martin McColl newsagents (thankfully without withdrawal fees) with hundreds more planned. And if you’re not close to one, check out new high street Metro Bank, which has promised to stock Lady Godivas as well.

There’s definitely demand from shoppers – London’s pilot machines have been hurling out 100,000 fivers each and every month. I know my wallet will be happier for it – £20 notes are notoriously big, peaking out of my wallet as a blatant advertisement to shifty pick-pockets.

Are you eagerly awaiting the £5 note revolution?

Cass Myers says:
8 July 2010

I wouldn’t want fiver notes being dispensed from an ATM automatically. The cash machine would need to provide the option of dispensing the withdrawal in £20, £10 or £5 notes.

However this would then require a modification by the Banks or cash machine to enable this.

In EU countries 50 Euro notes are regularly dispensed, in Australia $50 and $20 notes are only available in ATMs. Yet I’ve been in the UK for 7 years and I’ve never had a £50 note in my wallet, in fact I refused one with cash back at a supermarket in case it proved difficult to use to purchase items in another store.

dutchynick says:
9 July 2010

There’s an interesting take on this in the following Time article about spending habits –


Cass Myers says:
9 July 2010

Didn’t the Banks get us into this ‘crisis’ in the first place? Now they want to help the public with their day to day budgeting? Maybe the Banks should focus on offering the public decent interest rates on savings accounts, lowering the credit card rates that hit the same people they are trying to help budget, whist the Banks are at it they should take the extra step and stop handing out large bonuses to staff and making huge profits during the recession.

Yorlass says:
19 July 2010

Having £5 notes available in ATMs would be great. I only use cash for amounts less than £10, preferring to use a card for all other purchases, but it seems ridiculous to have to break into a £20 or £10 note for a newspaper or coffee. £5 only machines seem a bit too far the other way though … why can't machines just give out a mixture of notes, including fivers, like they do with £10 and £20 notes now? That would certainly help. Giving customers a choice of what notes they want would be the ideal but obviously that would require extensive changes to machines and may not be practical.

Helen says:
20 July 2010

I'd love this to happen. Not only would it help me spend less – once I've cracked into a £10 note it goes quickly – it would also help shopkeepers who have to give £9.50 change for a bottle of water, for example, and would mean that I don't have to feel guilty giving a large note for a very small purchase. So it would advantage customers – but would probably disadvantage banks, which is not my problem.

Julia Clark says:
24 July 2010

I’d love to get £5 notes from ATMs. When my son was doing guitar lessons I had to go inside the bank and write a cheque to get them. Quite often I need to give my son money but don’t want to give him £10. Now he has a cashpoint card he would like to be able to withdraw £5. It would probably be better for a lot of young people.

Yes, I want to be able to get fivers from ATM Machines. They are so useful for small purchases. Also for things like taxi fares you can have problems if you only have big notes, because taxi drivers are not obliged to give change. If you’ve only got a £20 note you could end up paying £20 for a £5 taxi fare!

With a machine that only gave out £5s I would only draw out small amounts, but it would be good if the ordinary cash machines could pay out a couple of fivers with the other notes.

I’d like £5 notes occasionally – but I’d also like a machine to change coin into notes

Normally I pay for things over £10.00 by using a debit card if at all possible. However there are places & organisations that simply don’t accept payment in this manner. To deal with these I have £5 notes in my wallet which I know are welcomed by traders. Yet I have to make a special visit to my bankers, stand in line waiting for a cashier to become available & specifically request that the sum that I am withdrawing is paid in £5.00 notes. If cash machines paid out in fivers I would not need to waste my time standing in a queue. In times past bank cashiers would ask how you would like the money paid (i.e. in what denominations). Now you have to specifically request YOUR wishes – otherwise you’ll get the highest denominations going.
It would appear that shopkeepers would prefer payment for things under £10 in cash (i.e. using fivers if necessary) & it would also appear that £5 notes are what people would prefer to have in their wallets/purses. Surely it is not impossible for cash machines to pay out in fivers if enough people let their banks know of their wishes. The banks only fill cash machines with large denomination notes because it’s easier for them – not the customers. If we want a return to fivers in cash machines it is up to us to let the banks know & then vote with our feet if OUR bank fails to acceed to our wishes & go to a bank that does. Then banks will poke their heads up to find where their customers have all gone & change their practises accordingly if they want customers to return!

If I need cash, But only have £7 in My bank account,

Do I risk an £25.00p – £35.00p charge for just going £3.00p Overdrawn,


Should I go without cash like £5.00p for train ticket, food, No Banks Should have NEVER been allowed legally to remove £5.00p notes from an Uk Cash Points,

As not everyone is rich & £5.00p is all they can afford to withdraw or need to spend or use.

There’s an certain Barclays cash point in Brighton that steal allows anyone to withdraw out £5.00p NOTES 🙂

Some people only have cash cards, & May need cash or small amounts of cash like £5.00p notes 🙂

I am a brain injury survivor which has also resulted in my being physically disabled. Yet every week I bypass the cash machines & make my way to my bank in order that the amount that I withdraw is actually in £5.00 notes & nothing larger. I have a debit card that I use for any payments over £10 & if ‘all’ retailers accepted payment in this manner I would choose not to carry cash at all. However I believe that retailers have to pay to have these machines & until that changes their wider spread is blocked. Also a lot of people get money from hole-in-the-wall machines & blindly accept whatever denominations are issued & then use them for their everyday purchases much to the annoyance of traders whose ‘cash float’ is quickly exhausted by giving change for these purchases (recently I was on a bus & found it hard to believe it when a prospective passenger proffered a £10 note for a local fare – I didn’t quite hear the driver’s comments regarding this!). Personally I try to consider the shop’s ‘float’ when I buy something & hope that my consideration is reciprocated, which it frequently is. All it takes is a bit of mutual consideration in this day & age where a lot of people have the attitude ‘I’m all right – ******* you!

I always go into my bank and ask for cash in the notes and coins I want ,I do not use much cash now and £20 notes mean getting them changed by going into my bank anyway Cards are accepted at most places now so why carry large amount of cash .There also the danger of withdrawing large amounts of cash out in the street