Cash machine network Link has set aside a fund of £1 million to pay for free-to-use cash machines (ATM) in communities that are finding it hard to access cash.
LINK will fund the installation of new ATMs in areas with poor free access “to protect local high streets and vulnerable consumers”. As a result consumers will be able to request a free ATM from LINK when it is needed.
Its Community Access to Cash Delivery Fund is designed to support the UK Finance’s new Community Access to Cash Initiative. This provides grant support and industry guidance for local communities’ free cash access and the adoption of alternative solutions where an ATM is not appropriate or required.
Many ATMs have been removed in response to the decline in cash usage. In addition consumer organisation Which? has reported that free-to-use cash machines have been disappearing faster in deprived areas than in affluent ones.
How to apply
Local communities will shortly be able to apply:
- through their MP
- local council
- or to request help directly from LINK.
LINK has established criteria for free-to-use cash machines which includes:
- the distance to the nearest free ATM
- availability of a Post Office
- whether there is a suitable location
Application information will be available from LINK from November 2019.
Pilot free ATMs
In August LINK announced five new pilot sites in Battle, Bungay, Nuneaton, Tywyn in Wales, and Durness in Scotland, where a new ATM would be directly commissioned. These new ATMs will be funded by a levy on LINK’s bank and building society members.
More sites that will get a free ATM have already been identified and are Deal, Ebbw Vale, Margate, Middleton, Wilmslow and York.
John Howells, LINK CEO said: “This is an important development which will allow communities to directly contact LINK and get things done to help consumers. LINK is looking forward to getting the first requests for ATMs so we can help solve access to cash issues across the whole UK.”
Main image: Ed Nix for LINK
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