Sainsbury's Bank estimates that approximately £11.4 billion will be withdrawn from UK ATMs this December, equating to over £367 million per day.
Interesting article, but I am not sure I agree with RBR conclusion that the absolute growth in ATM transactions is proof that customers still like cash.
For many cash is still a "necessary evil".
If you look at the numbers in the article, Sainsbury´s are predicting cash withdrawals to increase by 3 million in December compared to last December. That´s an increase of 1.8%.
According to the latest figures from the UK Cards Association, purchases are growing at over 6% year on year. This suggests to me that POS growth is still outgrowing ATM, demonstrating the continued trend away from cash.
I suppose one conclusion is that cash is proving stubborn and whilst it is declining as a percentage of total spend, it is still growing in absolute terms. This should provide motivation for merchants and the schemes to plug the acceptance gaps.
The UK Payments Council reveals that £48.7bn of UK cash machine withdrawals took place in Q2 2013, while the Bank for International Settlements has calculated that
£193.61bn of ATM cash withdrawals occurred in 2012. The LINK website has this figure at
£122.815bn for 2012 but this is ignoring "on-us" transactions – withdrawals made by customers at their own banks' or building societies' ATMs.
Therefore, considering all of this, £11bn for the busiest month of spending of the year strikes me as very low and I would be interested to see where Sainsbury's have acquired this figure from.
Cash has historically been the retail payment method of first resort. When cards stop working on a day like Cyber Monday, cash suddenly becomes the
MOP of last resort.
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© Finextra Research 2014