Which? raises fresh concerns about free-to-use ATM decrease

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Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

Which? has raised fresh concerns about losses in the free-to-use ATM network, identifying specific concerns relating to Northern Ireland.

Their latest figures suggest that, as of May 2019, the region had seen an almost 16% reduction in free-to-use machines in the previous 16 months.

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This decrease was almost 50% greater than those seen in the next highest UK region.



Northern Ireland is a high cash use region by comparison to GB.

Statistics from the Payment Services Regulator report that 37% of consumers here prefer to use cash.

As a result, the impact of removal free-to-use ATMs is potentially greater for Northern Ireland consumers.

Scott Kennerley, Director of Financial Services at The Consumer Council commented, “We know that Northern Ireland consumers remain more reliant on cash transactions than other regions in the UK.



“Any transition from free-to-use ATMs to fee-charging could have a greater negative effect on Northern Ireland consumers than those in other regions of the UK.

“It is important to understand why Northern Ireland consumers are more dependent on using cash. Is it because we choose to, or is it because there are fewer alternatives available to us?

He added, “The Consumer Council will continue to work with the financial services industry to ensure that the specific needs of Northern Ireland consumers are properly represented.”

Consumers can locate free-to-use ATMS on LINK’s website (www.link.co.uk/consumers/locator) and can give feedback if they feel their area is lacking in free-to-use ATM access through the “Suggest a Site” feature on the website.



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