Communities in ‘cash deserts’ beg for free cash machines

Dozens of communities have been forced to apply for free ATMs to be installed after the soaring cost of providing these machines led many operators to start charging. 

Cash machine network Link today announced that more than 100 towns and villages have applied for a free ATM to be installed as part of a scheme it announced earlier in the month. 

The areas include Cullen, in Moray; Upper Rissington, in Gloucestershire; and Silsoe, in Bedfordshire.

John Howells, of Link, said: “Many of the applications show there are locations around the country where there is a cash access problem. We’ve already visited 10 of these locations and will be working hard to listen to every community that has got in touch.”

But many of these communities only have no free ATMs due to an earlier Link policy. 

Cash machine firms can afford to supply free ATMs because they are paid a fee for every cash withdrawal by debit or credit card providers. But last July Link began the first of a series of cuts to these “interchange fees”, leading to many free machines having to charge or close.