Despite what many think, cash would still appear to be king. Since 1986, ATM cash withdrawals have been on a steady increase across the country according to statistics by
Link. Demand for cash also appears to be showing no signs of slowing down - there are now more than 69,000 cash machines in the UK, representing a growth of 58% since 2003.
Cash made up for 52% of all UK payments in 2013 with Link forecasting that we will still spend £251 billion* in cash transactions in the UK by 2023. That equates to nearly £690 million of cash spent each and every day of the year.
Cash clearly still plays an important role in society. It’s convenient, immediate and accepted everywhere but will the role of cash change as the payments space becomes increasingly digitised? Considering recent innovations around digital wallets and cashless
payment solutions, consumers now have much more choice when choosing their preferred payment method. However, despite this, cash appears to have buoyed remarkably well with around 7.2 million UK adults still using cash as their chosen payment method for day-to-day
purchases. Whilst many use digital payment options where it makes sense, using physical notes still suits the vast majority of everyday transaction types.
Our reliance on cash as a nation is no doubt one of the driving forces behind the evolution and continued growth of the UK’s ATM network in recent years. But as well as increasing in numbers, ATMs are also becoming so much more than just cash dispensers.
Advanced multi-functional devices are allowing customers to complete everyday banking transactions at the same time as withdrawing cash, offering convenient banking as part of an omni-channel experience offered by their bank.
Cash itself is also evolving alongside ATM technology. With the introduction of the resilient £5 polymer note by Clydesdale Bank this year, followed by Bank of England in 2016, cash is clearly being designed for the long term. As the industry prepares to
adapt to this change would such an investment really be taking place if cash was no longer relevant?