The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has reassured retailers that there is no plan to reduce the number of free-to-use ATMs across Scotland following sent-out ‘misinformation’.
These comments come after retailers told the SGF they received a letter from an ATM operator, that claimed it had been left with no choice but to move them onto a pay-to-use system. It read: “Link, which governs the ATM network in the UK, wishes to see the overall number of free to use ATMs reduced by about 50%.”
In a letter sent to the SGF, Link confirmed the statement is “simply not true” and that it is working to protect the free access to cash network in the country, especially in rural and remote Scotland.
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Meanwhile, the number of free machines has in fact increased over the last two years from 26,541 in January 2021 to 26,814 in January 2023.
The SGF is urging retailers to check their contracts before altering their arrangement with ATM operators or moving to a pay-to-use system.
Chief executive, Pete Cheema, said: “Misinformation regarding the future of free-to-use ATMs is a serious concern for our members and for convenience retail in Scotland. Many stores are at the very heart of their communities and rely on providing essential local services, and good customer relations.
“Sending out mixed messages and forcing retailers to withdraw their free-to-use ATMs will put many at a competitive disadvantage, to both their larger counterparts and superstores. Being able to provide easily available free access to cash is essential for many rural, remote, elderly and deprived communities and an important part of the offer and range of services available at many stores.”
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