Cash in decline

Tesco Bank upgrades ATMs as Edinburgh a big loser

ATMs are in decline

Edinburgh-based Tesco Bank has announced that it will renew its ATM network as a new report reveals that the city suffered the second biggest loss of cash dispensers in the UK.

The pandemic has been partly blamed for accelerating a steep decline in the number of machines available. An anticipated increase in the limit allowed on contactless cards is expected to drive more consumers away from cash.

Merchant payment provider, Dojo, part of the Paymentsense brand, found that between January 2019 and September 2020 the number of cash machines in Britain dropped from 62,967 to 55,674, a decrease of 7,293, with an average of over 340 machines disappearing from high streets every month.

York was the worst hit city, losing 29% of its machines, while Edinburgh ranked second with a 24% fall, from 104 to 79. Glasgow lost 19% of its ATMs, down from 336 to 272.

Jon Knott, Head of Customer Insight at Dojo said: “Coronavirus has reaffirmed the dominance of financial technologies.

“The contactless limit could increase once again from £45 to £100, allowing people more convenience to tap for their in-store purchases. With more and more people opting for Apple and Google Pay which has no capped limit for contactless payments, consumers are welcoming the efficiency and speed at which they can purchase larger value products and services.

“It is no surprise then, in our digitised economy, that the use of cash is decreasing, making ATMs redundant.“

However, his comments came as Tesco Bank said it is modernising its ATM network over the next three years, as part of a major commitment to the protection of free access to cash in the UK. 

Tesco Bank has the third largest ATM network in the UK, with ATMs available and free to use in 3,100 Tesco and One Stop stores across the country.  Tesco Bank’s ATM network accounts for 15% of all cash withdrawals made in the UK.

More than 2,000 ATMs, about wo-thirds of the Tesco Bank estate, will be replaced with newer models.  This will give communities continued access to free to use machines that are equipped with modern technology, and even higher standards of reliability and security.

Tesco Bank is also continuing its policy of installing an ATM in all new Tesco stores wherever possible and said it will continue to engage with local communities to explore the role it can play where a lack of free access to cash has been identified. 

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