Store owners are losing their cash machines, with 250 free and 300 pay-to-use machines being switched off every month.

The reduction came ahead of planned interchange fee cuts by LINK that came into force in July and made ATM machines less profitable.

ATM providers such as Cashzone responded by switching some cash machines over to pay-to-use while others were switched off and removed entirely.

One retailer commented: “Our contract is up for renewal in October but the new terms mean the contract would deliver next to no commission to us, and we’ve been told that other companies are not taking on new sites until next year.”

2,800 were lost in total across the UK, including 3% of the rural sites LINK had vowed to protect. Nearly half of all convenience stores have a free to use ATM according to the ACS.

The Payment Services Regulator responded to the decline by promising action to make LINK better protect access to cash machines. However, Treasury committee chair MP Nicky Morgan said the PSR’s action"may be too little, too late". 

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