Barclays Bank is forecasting that UK consumers will withdraw £490 million from the country's cash machines in a last minute Christmas shopping splurge on Saturday 23 December.
The record-beating cash dispensing will occur in a five-hour period between 10 am and 3pm tomorrow, says the high street bank. The busiest period is expected to be between 12 - 1pm, when just over one million transactions are forecast to take place at the 50,000 plus cash machines across the UK.
Together with £1.5 billion spending on debit and credit cards, a total of £2.5 billion will be spent on the 23rd, says Barclays, beating the next busiest day, 22 December by £230 million.
During the month of December over £15.5 billion will be withdrawn from cash machines and £31.6 billion spent on debit and credit cards, says Barclays, making a grand spending total of £47 billion this Christmas, an increase of about four per cent on last year.
Barnaby Davis, electronic banking director for Barclays says: "Action plans are in place to ensure cash machines remain stocked despite the level of activity in a really short space of time, to make sure even those very last minute purchases can be made.”
Barclays has over 3,800 cash machines in the UK.
In Australia, a Christmas overload was blamed for a two-hour outage of Bendigo Bank's ATM and eftpos network. About 50,000 customers who tried to pay bills using eftpos will be reimbursed after the money left their accounts but failed to pay the bills. Customers who paid a $1.50 service fee for using another bank's ATM will also be refunded.