Link's mission to ensure free and easy access to cash as the UK's primary cash machine network operator will remain under the purview of the Payment Systems Regulator, following a positive review of its performance by the watchdog.
The new ruling, which requires Link to have in place policies, measures and reporting obligations to ensure the maintenance of a broad geographic coverage of free-to-use ATMs in the UK, replaces a previous Direction which expires in January.
Over five million people in the UK still rely on cash, which is under pressure from the rise of contactless payments card and the steady withdrawal of banks and cash machines from towns and cities.
The PSR says: "Our priority...is to support the ATM network and ensure that UK’s cash system remains sustainable, resilient and accessible to those who need it."
As well as supporting free access to cash, the watchdog wants Link to consider ways to improve the resilience of ATM replacement procedures and transparancy in its commissioning of new machines. Any changes to its policies and procedures must be notified to the PSR, which will retain the power to raise objections.
The draft directive is out for consultation, with feedback requested by 16 November.