Sainsbury's Bank estimates that approximately £11.4 billion will be withdrawn from UK ATMs this December, equating to over £367 million per day.
The supermarket bank says it expects the number of cash withdrawals to increase by 3 million compared to December 2012, taking the total number of withdrawals in the month to around 164 million.
Sainsbury's Bank is expecting ATM usage to peak on Friday 20 December, in terms of both number of transactions and total cash withdrawals. The Friday before Christmas is the typical peak for pre-Christmas cash withdrawals and was the busiest day in 2012.
Sainsbury's Bank's growing ATM portfolio has 1465 free-to-use ATMs across the UK. The Bank expects to dispense approximately £915 million from its own machines in December from around 12.8 million transactions.
The consumer attachment to cash is not just a seasonal blip; recent data from consulting firm RBR forecasts that the number of ATMs installed around the world is set to grow by more than 40% between 2012 and 2018.
RBR argues that ATM numbers are rising rapidly because people still have a strong attachment to cash despite the rise of card payments and new digital options such as mobile money.
Overall, global cash withdrawal volumes are predicted to increase by even more than the number of ATMs - 65% over the forecast period.