Friday 9 November 2018

Finance Fridays – Getting an ATM machine installed

We were looking at the details of this year's Budget for last week's Finance Fridays. This week we are talking about the difficulties of getting withdrawing cash from your bank account. Around 2,000 bank branches have closed since 2015. This makes getting cash out a very hard task especially in rural areas where there are no shops offering cashback or having their own ATM for you to use. Although many transactions are now performed using credit or debit cards many places still only accept cash. This could be because they are temporary setups, individual traders such as at car boot sale or the businesses have found the transaction fees too high for them to pass on.

If you can't find an ATM near you let's see what you can do -

Check all possible providers – ATMs can be found in sorts of locations which you may not think of. It could be a local newsagent or grocery shop, petrol station or pub. Of course some of these could be ones that charge a transaction fee. This can be around £1.50 so taking out just £10 could prove to be quite costly. The vast majority of ATMs are connected to the LINK system and you can find their locations here. Locations marked with a green spot are free to use and purple ones carry a transaction charge which is stated.

Post Office – If you have a Post Office near you should be able to withdraw and deposit cash with them. They now deal with accounts held at most high street banks. You can find a list of them here.

Not enough cash – Sometimes when there is only one ATM in a location it can run out of cash quickly particularly at busy times of the year such as bank holidays. When this happens you need to look at other ways of getting cash.

Exhausted all possibilities? - It's probably best to try and set up a small community group to organise getting an ATM installed. Firstly you need to find a suitable location. This could be something like a shop, pub or even a library. If they are unsure about having the ATM on their premises then they might be persuaded by the extra footfall and business it will generate. You will also need to find out if you need planning permission from the local council to install one.

Who runs ATMs? - LINK is the network that connects ATMs but they don't operate them. Instead you need to contact one of the operators such as Cashzone, NoteMachine or PayPoint.

Will the ATM be free to use? - Probably not as the operator needs to make money from it and they do that by charging for the transactions. Machines that are run by banks charge the other banks whose customers use them. As the main banks have so many ATMs between the fees often cancel each other out. For private operators they have to directly charge the people who use them. You may find though that the transaction fee is cheaper than driving to another ATM that is free to use and possibly having to pay for parking.

Do you have trouble getting cash out? Have you thought of trying to get an ATM installed locally?

If you want to join in with this week's Finance Fridays then add your link to the linky below. Any post concerning financial matters is allowed. Full details here. It doesn't have to be published today as you have until 23.55 on Tuesday 13th November 2018 to join in.

Finance Fridays

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