Do you live in one of the cash less communities in the UK? ATM activity has plunged 40%, but some areas still prefer to stick to paper money
- ATM transactions have decreased on average by 40% since the pandemic
- But research shows wide variations in the use of cash in different parts of the UK.
The amount of money being withdrawn at ATMs is plummeting as more Britons opt to pay by card, but some areas are proving much more cashless than others.
Since the start of the pandemic, the number of ATM transactions has fallen on average by 40 per cent across the country, according to a new analysis from Link, the UK’s largest ATM network.
But there are huge variations in the levels of cash usage in different parts of the UK, and even within different areas of the same city.
Cash Map: Some areas have seen ATM transactions drop much more than others
The biggest cities and the most prosperous constituencies in cities like London, York, Bath and Edinburgh are among those running out of cash the fastest, with locals making less than half the number of ATM withdrawals than before the pandemic.
For example, the City of London and Westminster has seen the number of cash withdrawals decrease by 64.1 percent since May 2019.
But Brits living in some of the UK’s most deprived communities remain dependent on paper money. Parts of Liverpool, Birmingham and Bradford have seen the number of withdrawals fall by as little as 25 per cent during the same time.
Since May 2019, Liverpool Walton’s consistency has seen cash withdrawals decline by just 25.2 per cent.
The total amount of money withdrawn in these cash-dependent areas has only fallen about 10 percent since February 2020, according to Link, though inflation may be partly responsible for keeping that number high.
The Government has enacted a requirement for banks to provide customers with convenient and free access to high street cash in its Financial Services and Markets Bill.
Cash now accounts for around 15 per cent of all payments, a drop from more than 50 per cent just over a decade ago, according to the latest data from UK Finance.
|Year||Transaction volumes||transaction values|
|2019||2,608 million||£116 billion|
|2020||1,643 million||£81 billion|
|2021||1,522 million||£79 billion|
|2022||1,587 million||£83 billion|
|2023 (end of May)||616 million||£33 billion|
However, around five million people still depend on cash, with the elderly and people with low incomes often more dependent on cash.
There have been hundreds of bank branch closures since the beginning of last year, as well as a decline in the number of free-to-use ATMs.
John Howells, Link’s chief executive, said: ‘Five million people still depend on cash every day, and deprivation is the single most important indicator of cash dependency.
‘There is evidence that increasing numbers of people have been using cash as a budgeting tool during the cost of living crisis, and many people in the poorest communities also lack the digital skills and tools to access banking. online, such as smartphones and broadband
“We must manage the digital transition carefully to ensure that millions of vulnerable consumers are not left behind.
“This means maintaining a good range of free-to-use ATMs, expanding new services like Cash at the Till, and supporting consumers to use banking apps and digital payments.”