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ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

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> The shareholders who are our pension funds which we need to perform as well as possible so we can afford to retire...

Fixed that for you!

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The benefits go to you. Your bank has to pay for your access to ATMs that do not belong to it, and the LINK network sets out various interbank charges that apply for various services.

Ever used a non bank ATM, and found it is hard to get cash out without also seeing your balance at some point? The operator of the ATM receives something like 75p for each balance statement, which is sufficient to make these ATMs quite profitable, leading to every newsagents having one of these shitty ATMs inside.

The aim of these charges was to make it promote ATMs in rural/remote areas, but has actually lead to an increase of ATMs in built up areas where there is already adequate supply. By reducing the interbank charges it makes these ATMs less profitable and will reduce both the number of ATMs in high density areas, and the cost to banks for servicing their clients cash needs.

You would hope they will also replace the higher charges for subsidies for ATMs in rural/low ATM density areas.

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Be careful what you wish for

The banks might think they can save money by cutting back on ATMs. They could be caught out if it results in queues in banks for an RTP (Real Teller Person).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Be careful what you wish for

RTPs???

My Barclays bank i na city has replaced nearly all of them with an ATM+ machine. To get to see a RTP you have to speak to the wandering assistant/bouncer who will try as much to dissuade you as possible then place you on a chair for about an hour before telling you to come back on a less busy day.

Once you do get to see someone they will tell you they can't help/require different details/must do it online.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Be careful what you wish for

Whats a bank? Is that something you have to travel 10 miles to find?

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Unhappy

Re: Be careful what you wish for

They've been busy making it progressively harder to do business at the counter with a person, as they add more ATMs into the branch. A few years ago my local branch of $MEGABANK boarded up 4 out of the 7 service windows it was fitted out with when refurbished about 5 years earlier. The new boarding was painted in corporate colours but it just makes it look like a failing shopping mall trying to cover up the fact it has lots of vacant units. The teller desks and computers etc are all still in place behind the hoarding but with no way to serve us meat bags.

The deposit machines work well (and a copy of the paid in cheque on the receipt is useful) but until the machines dispense fivers and coins I'll keep using the the counter for withdrawals - I tend to use cash for smaller purchases so a wallet full of twenties is sod all use!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Be careful what you wish for

Fifties I'd understand, but I don't recall having issues paying with twenties anywhere in the past 10 years at least?

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Re: Be careful what you wish for

I tend to use cash for smaller purchases so a wallet full of twenties is sod all use!

I used to get a large chunk of cash from a shop each payday. The teller preferred to give me the smaller notes than larger ones, for the simple reason that it's easier for him to count 50s at the end of the day than 2s. I often came away with a HEAVY wallet. So you could make it easier for a few by giving them a 20 (when they're quiet enough to have time to count the change) and from them you get the change for the rest of your day.

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If anything I'd like more ATMs, not less.

I still use cash on a daily basis. The shop I buy my lunch from does not take cards, nearby corner shops either don't take cards, require a minimum transaction of £10 or charge a fee for processing cards. And, as the article notes it is much easier to control spending when you can actually see how much you're handing over and not just blindly type your pin into a machine.

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@iron

I find change not disappearing (dropped out of pocket on bus, in car, office, sofa etc) is a useful way to save some cash too, which is why most of my spending is on a card.

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Not just change. These new plastic notes are as slippery as hell and seem determined to slither out of my pockets

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Go

These new plastic notes are as slippery as hell

And tend to stick together, so it's easy to pay someone £20 in 3 or 4 tenners.

So fold 'em properly.

You'll have to do them individually, and will need a flat hard surface and a strong finger nail, but it can be done,

What we need is a small round readily pocketable metal object to rub firmly down the fold.

Could make a suggestion, but some fruit'd only patent it.

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Re: These new plastic notes are as slippery as hell

I screw them up as I get them in the hope that

a) They won't try and escape from my pocket

b) They will wear out quickly and be seen by TPTB as a bad idea

On the plus side (yes there is one) they seem to survive the washing machine quite well, but not so well liquid nitrogen or fuming nitric acid (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMwThGTYT2o) so probably best to use ordinary washing powder.

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Anonymous Coward

"They could be caught out if it results in queues in banks for an RTP (Real Teller Person)."

My main Barclays branch uses ATMs for all functions if you are a retail customer. One counter teller for "commercial " customers - and a couple of hovering bodies to help people use the ATMs. There are face-to-face staff but you only get to them if you are negotiating a loan or something out of the ordinary.

Trying to get a quantity of £1 coins from them before going to the school fete has proved near impossible. It is easier to make small purchases in the supermarket and then asking for change in £1 coins in place of the obvious notes.

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TRT
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Bit like London Underground then.

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Anonymous Coward

£50's

I find it strange you can't withdraw £50's from the cash machine. Going in to the bank is a pain.

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TRT
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Re: £50's

I hadn't considered that. My butler always hands me my wallet of freshly ironed £50s as he opens the door for me on my way out in the morning.

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Re: £50's

No-one trusts £50s - mainly used by drug dealers and forgers. Our village shop won't accept them without a very good excuse.

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Re: £50's

..without a very good excuse

...like "I'm a drug dealer/forger/the KLF looking for a light"?

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Re: £50's

The ATMs at Canary Wharf have £50s, think most of the bankers there withdraw £500 before going out for the evening. Not everything a banker needs can be bought on card!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: £50's

>I hadn't considered that. My butler always hands me my wallet of freshly ironed £50s as he opens the door for me on my way out in the morning.

I used to be that poor, I pay for everything in flawless diamonds now and the smallest change I have is one carat. My team of personal female Amazonian bodyguards carries them.

And to think at one time I used to work down pit for 25 hours a day and pay owner permission to come to work. Tell the youth of today that and they'll never believe you

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TRT
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Re: £50's

"Not everything a banker needs can be bought on cut using a card!"

TFTFY

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Def
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Re: £50's

My butler always hands me my wallet of freshly ironed £50s as he opens the door for me on my way out in the morning.

Ironing and taking care of your wallet? If your butler doesn't have enough to do in the dining room, maybe you should consider getting that wine cellar expanded. While I admit it's not something you should really be worrying about, I would have assumed that one of the house staff would be giving the freshly starched and ironed £50 notes to your valet to take care of. A gentleman certainly shouldn't be tasked with carrying money around on his person. What a dreadful thought.

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Re: £50's

"The ATMs at Canary Wharf have £50s, think most of the bankers there withdraw £500 before going out for the evening. Not everything a banker needs can be bought on card!"

And in some university towns, some cash machines still have fivers in them and have the option to withdraw just one fiver. How the other halves live, eh?

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Re: £50's

Try the cash machines in Canary Wharf - you have to ask for an amount that isn't a multiple of £50 to get anything other than £50 notes ... which is great until you try and get a taxi home!

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Re: £50's

"No-one trusts £50s - mainly used by drug dealers and forgers. "

i.e. (see post above) the only non-bankers who can afford butlers these days.

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Re: £50's

The Wells Fargo ATMs in my small Texas town give out $50 notes. Much better when withdrawing $500 at a time.

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Happy

No batteries

At least neither cash nor plastic need a charged battery - with cash also not needing a working network to accept the transaction, a problem in some areas. So some people feel happier having more options available. Dealing with trivial payments via some form of month end account can be a real pain for many. I understand that for others it may just as well be an asset to have an electronic record. Some of us remember the days when just one card type might be accepted - never the one you had at the time and painful memories can linger on.

I have no down on anyone using their method of choice, I embrace empowered choice. Compulsion is different thing and that is the one I hate, almost as much as my wife hates 'SMART phones'. I have one it is smart enough to know I want to do something and frequently clever enough to stop me achieving the option in a timely manner. For me plastic and cash are rather easier and provide me with comfort.

Cashback was always said to provide comfort to the retailers who offered the function as it moved physical cash, which needed manual handling into an electronic form simplifying their book keeping.

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Anonymous Coward

My partner hates me..

Cause I never carry cash and our favourite take away doesn't take cards! (At first she thought i did it intentionally)

Saying that, I was standing on the train platform in London the other day, heard some guy say he doesn't trust online banking and heard another person respond they don't trust banking phone apps, they still do everything in branch (these people were probably in their 40's)..

I'm not much younger, so was quite surprised about that.. my first thought was "bunch of luddites", but then in hindsight, I realised this was a case lack of education and understanding of online safety and basics of how devices get infected..

I'd hope the newer generation do better, but judging by how my son treats online privacy, I'm seriously doubting it!

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TRT
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Re: My partner hates me..

I overheard a woman on the train doing her online banking. Well, it was hard not to. If I had the mind to, I'd have had her name, address, date of birth, account number and last balance within two minutes.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: My partner hates me..

Luddites? I'll leave this here.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/11/03/uk_bank_security_audit/

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K
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Re: My partner hates me..

Surely thats phone banking? Unless you were intentionally staring at her screen. On a similar note, my boss saw a civil servant log into a "classified portal", password was something like 12345 (Same as the president has on his luggage).

** go watch Spaceballs if you don't get it!

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TRT
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Re: Surely thats phone banking?

I couldn't overhear her phone's screen now, could I?

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Re: My partner hates me..

I'm with the no online banking people, be it app or website.

Many androids never get any security updates, vendors that do provide upgrades stop them after a while, so nearly all non rooted androids soon insecure.

Apple devices, better on security updates, but often users do not add them as they often mean an "upgrade" which can cripple performance of old phones.

PC - I CBA to check how many zero days there are each year, but plenty.

There is no such thing as a secure device, so always a small element of risk.

Given how, when "cash" goes missing due to fraudulent activity, the banks love to blame the customer rather than the crooks, then sensible option to eschghew online as, if it something crooked happens you may end up out of pocket.

Happily for me banking aps do not work on rooted phones (in catch 22 logic as the whole point of rooting is to allow yourself to do / install things that increase security!)

..No surprise I mainly use cash! (Though not a fan of the shiny new 5 and 10 notes, anyone would think they were designed to be super low friction and easily get lost to discourage cash use - have to scrunch up new ones lots to remove their slippery eel behaviour).

Mainly using cash is good, it works when things go, unexpectedly, wrong, went for a pub lunch a while ago (a place a few of us often visit) and phone line was down so they could not do cards, because I had cash I could pay for mine and (card only) friends meals & drinks.

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Re: My partner hates me..

Despite being a fully-unpaid-up Luddite , I do online banking - but only from one computer at home. Via WiFi when out? I think not. On my phone with an app? Oh come on - I prefer to spend my own money, not delegate it to some Ukrainian.

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Re: My partner hates me..

I wouldn't use mobile banking apps either, despite having a secure Android device..

'Basics of how devices get infected'. Android's marketplace is better than it was, but still not perfect. Many apps are updated on a weekly basis, or even more frequently. It only needs one app to be infected by a trojan.

Banking websites I try to use on a secure platform, using a decent browser, and no other tabs open at the same time (in case there's a missed x site scripting exploit).

I'll happily use contactless - a great invention, but it's currently capped at a sensible thirty quid. If the limit was higher I'd get it disabled for my cards.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: online banking - but only from one computer at home.

Similarly here, but I also have a dedicated user account which I *only* use for online banking.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surely thats phone banking?

@TRT

Your wrote " overheard a woman on the train doing her online banking"

So, unless she was talking to her phone screen, or talking to somebody on the phone, you never overheard then, you saw

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Re: online banking - but only from one computer at home.

Whilst I hate admitting this - I do use the phone apps, it's made my life sooo much easier, especially when managing multiple accounts.

At the end of the day, even if somebody managed to get into the account, they can't transfer any money without setting up a new payee, which requires my card and my reader.. in addition, when ever anything is set up or moved, I'm sent a notification.

I let my missus look at my account, so I've got nothing to hide... that stuff goes on a credit card from a separate bank ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Surely thats phone banking?

Your wrote " overheard a woman on the train doing her online banking"

But that's why I hate voice-recognition phone systems that don't give a touch-tone option.

Not everyone around wants to hear me shouting "Abattoir! Abattoir!" into my phone.

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Pint

Re: My partner hates me..

"went for a pub lunch a while ago (a place a few of us often visit) and phone line was down so they could not do cards, because I had cash I could pay for mine and (card only) friends meals & drinks."

What's the rule in the UK, nowadays, when a technical problem means that a merchant cannot accept payment by card? It could happen that I only have about a tenner (give or take a fiver) on me and a couple of cards. A group of four people could easily run up a bill of a hundred quid over a few drinks and a bite to eat.

I imagine that if the phone line was down before you order, the person in charge should warn you and if you order knowing that you don't have enough to pay cash, you'd be guilty of something like "obtaining by deception". But if the line goes down after ordering, then what?

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Pint

Re: My partner hates me..

Surely you just stay and wash dishes all night write them an IOU and then go back (or phone them up) and pay by card once their system’s working again?

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Re: My partner hates me..

It is not possible to disable contactless,, well not officially anyway and a lot of banks will chuck contactless cards at you and will not give you an option of not having them, thankfully my banks does, at the moment anyway.

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Mushroom

"If the limit was higher I'd get it disabled for my cards."

Good luck with that. SnotWest agreed - with very bad grace - to replace my new cards with non contactless - with some loss in functionality.

Can't remember what - was some gismo I never used.

SnotWest Mastercard? sorry, no way - Master Bates doesn't do 'em. Looks like I'll have to cut the aerial coil on the card.

Anyone confirm that such nefarious activity won't upset the rest of the card?

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Re: Surely thats phone banking?

"So, unless she was talking to her phone screen, or talking to somebody on the phone, you never overheard then, you saw"

Maybe she was one of those people who can't type or write without also saying it out loud (or at least mumble it).

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TRT
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Re: Surely thats phone banking?

@AC. fair point that there's online banking and phone banking, but she was actually resetting her online banking login credentials by talking to someone real and providing sufficient identification information to satisfy them that she was who she said she was. My point was, though, that people are sometimes quite blasé about their "secret" information.

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Re: Surely thats phone banking?

Your wrote " overheard a woman on the train doing her online banking"

So, unless she was talking to her phone screen

I have literally heard this monologue on the commuter trains:

"Hmm, what is the 6th letter of my security code?"

"p-a-s-s-w-0 ... 0!"

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Re: My partner hates me..

It is not possible to disable contactless,

My bank kept sending me contactless cards, but they all turned up cut down the middle. Weird, huh?

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Anonymous Coward

With fewer bank branches the local small shops are often desperate for small change. People tend to offer paper money even for relatively small purchases. I make sure I leave the house with £5 in mixed denomination coins that enable the exact price to be paid for a small purchase.

It appears to be a rarity in the supermarkets for them to be given the exact money - which I calculate while waiting in the queue. Often they express surprise that someone can do mental arithmetic.

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It appears to be a rarity in the supermarkets for them to be given the exact money - which I calculate while waiting in the queue. Often they express surprise that someone can do mental arithmetic.

Having seen a shop assistant require a calculator to work out what 10 items at 25p cost, I think mental arithmetic has gone the way of top hats and flint knapping.

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