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UK govt pushes cash deposit ATMs

19 March 2015  |  8007 views  |  4 ATM

With branch numbers dwindling, the UK government wants to ensure that all Brits have access to ATMs where they can not only withdraw, but deposit, cash. Meanwhile, a London politician is calling for cash machines to be upgraded so that they can be used by rape victims to alert police.

As banks slash the size of their branch networks in response to the migration of customers to online and mobile channels, the government says that it is working with ATM network Link on changing its rules to increase access to "intelligent" ATMs, where users can deposit money.

Not only would this help customers of established players that are closing branches, it would also level the playing field for new digital challenger banks, enabling them to offer cash deposit services, argues a report.

Separately, London Assembly member Andrew Boff is proposing that cash machines should be used to make it easier for rape victims to discreetly alert police.

According to figures from the Metropolitan police, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, nearly 40 rape attacks a day go unreported. Boff is urging London mayor Boris Johnson to get banks to update their machines with an option to report crimes.

"Victims of rape often can’t phone or visit the police for fear of being seen or overheard. But if someone is being controlled, and has little time on their own, they could walk into a bank and send a short message on an ATM discreetly and anonymously, and make arrangements to meet police at a neutral place," says Boff.

Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 19 March, 2015, 11:23

This article took me for a loop, I didn't expect to read anything about rape and it threw me off, but when I think about it, that's actually a good system to employ for alerting the police. I never it was such a big issue, that such measures need to be taken, but do it. I'm all for it. Cash deposits too.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 19 March, 2015, 12:48 I agree that any improvement in reporting of rape would be a great thing. I am not convinced that the banking environment would be best opportunity. This is clearly targeted at those already being controlled and financial independence may be put at risk and worsen the situation for the victims of rape and abuse. Access to finance may already be a limiting factor in victims escaping their environment. I hope the unintended consequences will be considered.
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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 19 March, 2015, 15:58

Now, if ATMs were upgraded with a code you could tap in to alert the police if you're being forced to withdraw money under duress that would be handy. It may cut down on incidents of this and this.

And no, typing your PIN in backwards doesn't work.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 20 March, 2015, 16:39

Sorry, but I think that reporting rape, or any violent crime, by ATM is a hairbrain scheme thought up by a politician who has no idea how ATM systems work or the police are organised.  Apart from the impracticality, who would pay for the development and operation?

And yes DK, alerting the police by keying in your PIN backwards is an urban myth.

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