- 77% of GB adults say it is either ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ essential for them to personally be able to access a free-to-use ATM
- With the UK on the verge of losing thousands of ATMs, a new report from Positive Money recommends that the Government gives regulators the role of protecting access to cash, and the power to stop ATM closures
London, UK, 20 March 2018 — Over three quarters (77%) of GB adults class access to free ATMs as ‘essential’, according to new polling from research and campaign group Positive Money.
The poll, undertaken by YouGov in March 2018, asked 2,028 British adults how essential, if at all, it is for them to be able to access a free-to-use ATM. 76.51% said that it was ‘essential’, of which 35.73% consider it ‘very essential’ and 40.78% ‘fairly essential’.
Only 21.98% of respondents suggested such access was not essential, of which 17.24% answered ‘not very essential’, and 4.74% ‘not at all essential’. 1.51% said they did not know.
This polling comes as the UK is on the verge of losing thousands of ATMs, as the Link network confirms plans to cut their transaction fees in order to compete with card companies like VISA and Mastercard. Such a development would cause significant difficulty for the millions of Britons who still rely on cash, and who would struggle to manage their money and pay for the things they need without access to an ATM.
A new report from Positive Money released today calls for the state to step in to protect access to cash. Titled ‘The Future of Cash: Protecting access to payments in the digital age’, it recommends:
- That Government should assign the Payment Systems Regulator the explicit job of protecting people’s access to cash and new enhanced powers to stop closures.
- That Government should clarify the definition of legal tender, to ensure that retailers accept cash as a means of payment.
- That the Government should work with the Bank of England to introduce a digital version of cash, and set up a public payments provider with the specific job of reaching those who are currently excluded.
David Clarke, Head of Policy and Advocacy at Positive Money, said: “This polling shows the huge extent to which Britons still rely on free ATMs, and demonstrates the need for the Government to take action in order to protect them.
“Ongoing pressure from banks and card companies could make widespread free ATMs a thing of the past. Free access to cash is important for millions of people’s everyday lives, and unless we he have a regulator that’s prepared to intervene, they’re in danger of facing real difficulty.”
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2028 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 13th – 14th March 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
About the report
‘The Future of Cash’ was funded by Barrow Cadbury and authored by David Clarke. The report will be launched on 20th March 2018 at an event in Westminster, with contributions from Labour MP Catherine West and the SNP spokesperson for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Drew Hendry MP. Please click here to register your attendance.
About Positive Money
Positive Money campaigns for a money and banking system which supports a fair, democratic and sustainable economy. Set up in the aftermath of the financial crisis, Positive Money is a not-for-profit company funded by charitable trusts and foundations, as well as small donations from its network of over 65,000 supporters.