Ignore the hype of the tabloid newspapers regarding the apparent disappearance of free to use ATMs in the UK.

If one believed the somewhat over-excited reporting, you might be persuaded that access to cash is under threat.

Don’t be kidded and do not be conned.

Some of the newspaper reporting has been lamentable. Basics, such as the elementary basic, of checking up to date numbers. One of the best selling tabloids continues to report that there are 64,000 ATMs in the UK, with 51,000 free to use.

Well, that was correct. If the article has been written in 2018. The article in question was published just last week.

But no matter. Yes, numbers have declined since then and the latest Link figures, if the popular press care to check current Link statistics are as follows.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

There are some 50,000 ATMs of which around 39,000 are free to use. And yes, total number of ATMs have declined from a peak of 70,558 in 2015. Of that total, some 53,000 were free to use.

But to claim that there is some kind of a crisis or ATM desert on the horizon, is a nonsense. By international standards, we are pretty well off in the UK when almost 80% of ATMs are free to use, irrespective of which bank one holds a current account.

The latest scare relates to plans by NoteMachine to introduce charges at 1,000 of its 9,000 terminals over the next three months.

This news seems to have prompted Link, again, to renews its pledge to maintain the UK’s free-to-use cash machine system.

More inaccurate reporting attributed the move to a decline in cash use and collapsed demand to use ATMs.

Again, the figures last year show a different story. Total Link transactions by value for total cash withdrawn rose in 2022, compared with 2021. Link transaction volume for cash withdrawn also rose in 2022, compared with 2021.

The numbers are of course down on pre-pandemic figures but to claim that there is an issue regarding access to cash, or a collapse year-on-year in demand for cash, is just not borne out by the actual figures. Cash still accounts for 11.0% of all payments transactions in the UK and Link continues to do a sterling job in ensuring cash availability.