ATM use in the UK declined 62 percent on 2019 during the first month of lockdown, with Insider Intelligence predicting a further ten percent drop in countrywide ATM penetration over the next five years.
The figures follow a pre-lockdown report by The Telegraph stating the UK is set to become a cashless society “within the next ten years,” and a recent survey by Mastercard revealing 22 percent of respondents no longer use cash. “Insider Intelligence forecasts that ATM penetration in the UK will drop from 84.7% in 2019 to between 74.2 percent and 76.2 percent in 2024,” reported the business journal.
“This decline will be most pronounced in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a steady but less steep fall in subsequent years.”
The pandemic has been instrumental in accelerating the move toward a cashless society, with access to ATMs limited by lockdown measures, a separation of customers and service staff, and a growing uneasiness around handling notes and coins.
A recent study by YouGov also reported that 31 percent of respondents intend to use ATMs less frequently even when lockdown measures are fully eased.
“If consumers don’t need cash, ATMs could fall out of favour completely, and banks could tighten their networks in an effort to rein in costs.”