ATM charges hit the headlines

ATM charges hit the headlines

As a rapidly increasing number of ATMs across the UK are now charging for cash withdrawals, customers are increasingly turning to their local Post Office.

It was extensively covered by the media yesterday (Wednesday 1 May) that 1,700 cash machines started charging over the first three months of 2019, according to a report by consumer rights group Which?

Commenting on the Which? report, Link’s Chief Executive John Howells said: "For now, there is no need for consumers to be concerned and if they wish to find their most convenient free ATM they can download the Link app for free or access cash over the counter at over 11,500 Post Offices across the UK."

Link runs the scheme controlling the UK’s cash machines. It sets the rules for ATM providers and card issuers who want their cardholders to be able to use the UK’s ATMs.

What does this mean for Post Office?

Banking Services Director Martin Kearsley explains: “The business model for running free-to-use cash machines is becoming more difficult to sustain for independent ATM providers, who earn fees from the banks for cash withdrawals made by bank cardholders.

“It is these fees (or ‘interchange rates’) that the banks pay which have been cut, leading some ATM providers to start charging customers for withdrawals to maintain profits.”  

Martin added: “We have now seen examples of uplifts in customers accessing cash over the counter at some Post Office branches across the network as the nearby ATMs have started charging. This continues to underline our vital community role – being better for customers – and in doing so, we’re helping to support our postmasters too.”

Through our Banking Framework, 99%  of customers can access everyday banking services in branch. We provide the UK’s largest free cash withdrawal network – larger than all the bank branches combined. We don’t charge fees for withdrawing cash from our own ATMs