To coincide with Monday's (11 March) publication of the Payments Council's Access to Cash research Link has launched a simple way for consumers to suggest new sites for cash machines online.
The new "suggest a site" form can be completed on their website at link.co.uk/Cardholders/SuggestASite/Pages/CustomerSiteSuggestion.aspx where consumers can complete all the details needed to start a site-assessment process1.
If you feel your nearest cash machine is too far away, you can now submit suggestions to LINK. After filling out the form with as much detail as possible, LINK will pass on the details to its Members2 who actively look to identify new sites to place cash machines.
If a site is put forward where it is found there is limited access to free cash machines, it will be considered also as part LINK's Financial Inclusion Programme. This was devised by LINK and its Members in 2006, to support the installation of free cash machines in areas where there is limited free access to cash. As a result of this Programme, 840 new free-to-use ATMs have been installed, helping consumers in over 1,300 target areas and the industry invests an extra £830,000 per year to maintain these machines.
The new "suggest a site" service is part of a number of initiatives by LINK and the ATM industry to improve access to cash for consumers. Thanks to these initiatives by the end of 2012 there were more free-to-use ATMs than ever across the UK3.
John Howells, LINK CEO comments: "Although consumers' access to cash is better than ever - we hope our new "suggest a site" service will help us identify more places where cash access, particularly free access, could be improved. Safeguarding consumers' access to cash is a key part of LINK's role and over the last few years we have worked with our members on a number of initiatives to extend safe, free and easy access to cash."
LINK has also been working together with its Members and the Bank of England to achieve the latter's target4 for increasing circulation of £5 notes. The target was reached and passed in 2012. At the end of the year there were over 5,000 ATMs dispensing f fivers, a substantial increase on the 670 ATMs dispensing £5 notes in 2009.
1) If you don't have access to the internet, you can still ring the LINK Scheme directly on 0845 602 3824)
2) A full list of LINK members can be found here: http://www.link.co.uk/AboutLINK/Pages/Members.aspx
3) At the end of 2012 there were 45,600 free-to-use ATMs and 20,400 pay-to-use ATMs. 97% of withdrawals are from free-to-use machines.
4) The Bank of England has set a 1.2% (£2bn) target for the value of £5 notes dispensed from ATMs in 2012