Mastercard is rolling out a service which will offer UK retailers a fee for processing cashback transactions over the counter, as part of an effort to stem the tide of criticism from politicians and consumer groups over the disappearance of ATMs and bank branches from the high street
Under the initiative, local shops and businesses will from April 2020 earn a fee of 12 pence every time they dispense cash to a shopper paying with a Mastercard debit card.
Mastercard says all of its debit card issuing partners will take part in the scheme, including:Clydesdale Bank, Metro Bank, Monzo, N26, Starling Bank, Virgin Money, Yorkshire Bank and starting later this year Santander.
The ongoing removal of bank branches and ATMs from Britain's high streets has led to a rowdy debate about the consequences for a disenfranchised segment of the populace - estimated to comprise eight million individuals - who would struggle to cope in a cashless society.
Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard in the UK, Ireland, Nordics and Baltics comments: “By leading this new cash back initiative we aim to encourage more shops to offer their customers the option of cash back at the point of sale. This isn’t a replacement for ATMs, but if we can add to the number of outlets where people can access cash, especially in areas without an ATM, it will be a valuable addition to the community for both consumers and local businesses.”