We’ve been talking about the future of cash machines a lot recently, with a primary focus on Link’s move to reduce the interchange fee for machines from 25p to 20p over the next four years.
We have been speaking about this important issue in the media and with Government and politicians.
We’ve been explaining that the reduction in interchange fees is already leading to a loss of free-to-use cash machines, including in the rural areas that Link has pledged to protect.
It’s therefore welcome that some of this work has paid off with an important first concession from Link, which has announced that it will cancel the fee reduction due in 2020 and review further reductions from 2021, potentially reinstating half of the lost interchange fees. This move will make
a big difference to retailers that are looking at renewing long-term contracts with their ATM providers.
But the fact remains that over the next year, running a free-to-use cash machine is still going to become more expensive and Link must continue to be held to account if the 1.25p reduction that came into effect in July, and next year’s reduction by the same amount, result in a loss of free-to-use ATMs.
Interchange fees are not the only issue when it comes to ATMs. As many retailers who operate through-the-wall ATMs will know, the business rates cost of these machines can be huge – sometimes higher than the rates bill for the rest of the store.
We believe that cash machines are an essential service and should be excluded from the rating list altogether, and we will continue to lobby Government to encourage them to change the way that cash machines are treated in the business rates system.
If you’ve had to change the way your cash machine operates, or even remove it altogether, we want to hear from you.
Read more: Relief for retailers as Link abandons ATM fee cuts