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Link's plans to reduce the interchange rate may close 30,000 ATMs

Wednesday 31 January 2018 | 12:57 PM CET

Link, the UK’s largest ATM network, has reduced the interchange rate but critics warn that this may lead to “cash-desert zones”.

The interchange rate, which represents the fee that operators receive from banks every time someone uses an ATM, will be reduced from 25 to 20 pence.

Link stated that this will discourage ATM clusters (a large concentration of ATMs in a small area), but many industry voices fear that rural settlements will be left without an ATM and no means of withdrawing cash.

The decision to cut the interchange fee has been criticised by ATM Industry Association (ATMIA), consumer group Which? and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) among others. Critics worry that areas with poor financial services will be left without any means to withdraw cash.

Link has responded to these fears by exempting all ATMs one kilometre or more from the next free machine from any reductions in interchange. An extra subsidy of up to 30 pence (tripling the current 10p) will be paid wherever needed to ensure that free ATMs remain in areas that could not otherwise sustain them.

More: Link
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