Link has announced it will increase the ATM withdrawal fee paid to operators in remote areas as of April, in order to keep outlying free-to-use cash machines in operation.
The UK’s largest ATM provider will increase its subsidy to £2.75 per withdrawal for between 50 and 100 of the 3,500 ATMS situated over 1km away from other free-to-use machines.
“It is vital we continue to provide free access to cash to those who need it,” said Link CEO John Howells.
“These premiums will further safeguard ATMs in remote and less well-off areas.”
Eligible ATM operators currently receive up to 30p per transaction from Link’s financial incentive programme, however, the fee has been increased to protect communities reliant on cash transactions but separated from access to other cash machines.
The decision comes after UK banks agreed a reduction in interchange rates for cash machines, reducing the figure from 25p to 20p in the three years before 2022, potentially endangering the remote, less profitable locations of the 50,000 free-to-use ATMs across the country.
Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, responded: “The Payment Systems Regulator must now intervene and help the industry formulate a long-term strategy for maintaining free access to cash right across the UK.”