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Editor's Blog
Editor's Blog
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The Plan to Remove ATMs -and Cash -from the UK

So the gloves are off. The battle lines are drawn.

The plan to remove ATMs and cash from the UK is underway.

Those who value cash, as a Payment Choice, store of value and instrument of independence, now know what they are up against.

Until this year, the UK Public had enjoyed an uninterrupted period of almost two decades of improvement in ATM services and, therefore, access to cash.

25,000 ATMs in 1998 ; 70,000 ATMs in 2017. a triumph for the public interest.

Why has this happened?

BECAUSE LINK, THE UK ATM NETWORK, WAS FORCED BY THE GOVERNMENT TO ACCEPT INDEPENDENT ATM OPERATORS AS MEMBERS NEARLY 20 YEARS AGO.

Today, over half the ATMs in the UK are operated by independents, who have well over 20,000 free-to-use machines, delivering cash free to thousands of towns, villages and urban suburbs where no bank branches or bank ATMs are to be found. They have all been closed down.

In other countries, where independent ATM operators have been deliberately excluded from the national ATM networks, the banks have been free to conspire with Visa and MasterCard in the world-wide war on cash that the two US card schemes brazenly announced years ago.

Be clear. In countries where Visa and MasterCard are standing ready to announce "cashless societies", it is NOT the People who have decided to stop using cash. Citizens in those countries are having choice ripped from their grasp by card schemes and banks colluding against the public interest.

In the UK, the only way ATMs services will decline is if  LINK is allowed to manipulate interchange. Interchange is the small payment a card issuer pays to an ATM operator if one of their cardholders uses the operators ATM. It is a cost recovery mechanism. Only super-efficient operators - mainly independents, not banks - can make a small profit from interchange.

The fee is TINY; currently around 28p for a cash withdrawal that can be as much as £500. Now the banks calling the tune at LINK want to arbitrarily cut this already small amount by 20%. This massive reduction would make thousands of free-to-use ATMs uneconomic and threaten the UK Publics convenient access to cash.  

No fair-minded person could describe the current payment as high. What can anyone buy for 28p in the UK today?

Unfortunately, fair-minded is not a description that can be applied to the interchange manipulators. They have their war to fight, their campaign to remove ATMs and cash, allowing cards and digital payments, which make the manipulators very rich, to completely dominate world payments.

So the stories are planted - and then denied - that the UK will have no ATMs in ten years time and that "cash back" in supermarkets will be the only way of getting cash.

This is TOTAL RUBBISH - but it is now "out there", in the heads of many who will now start to believe that that this nonsense is reality. It is like a barrister addressing a jury, telling them something that is a total fabrication and then having the judge tell the jury to ignore what has been said. Some of the jurors will NOT ignore what the barrister said, just as some of the public will now accept that the end of ATMs and cash is inevitable.

So let's be VERY clear.

LINK are NOT going to be allowed to arbitrarily reduce interchange by 20%.

ATMs are NOT going to be removed by independent operators; in fact more are going to be installed to replace the fast disappearing bank branches.

Cash IS going to remain a Payment Choice for the British Public -FOREVER.

Cash back is going to be what it is today, a top up that is used by consumers to access only around 1/50th of  the cash used in the UK.

You read it first here.

ATMs AND CASH: FOR ALL, FOREVER!

Monday, 4th December 2017

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