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ATM fees shake-up may push Britain towards cashless society

Korev Silver badge

A similar one is when you give them slightly more to reduce the amount of change you get eg paying £11.75 instead of £10 for a £6.25 means they get to keep some change and your wallet doesn't get weighed down. This seems to confuse many people taking money.

Ellipsis
David Pearce

I recently visited the UK and found that my cards were a total lottery of using their 6 digit PIN, signing and not working.

Cashless is a big problem if the overseas banks are not properly integrated.

And I won't use a phone for payments if the manufacturer cannot be bothered to update beyond Android 4.4.4

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Can't use it on my phone 'cos I rooted it to keep it up to date…

Teiwaz Silver badge

Link?

Is this the same as BankLink or whatever, the logo'ed up machines I usually reject as they charge(d) * for removing cash if your bank isn't a member (and there's plenty of other machines in towns).

* it's been a while since I've looked, maybe they no longer charge...

Old Tom

Re: Link?

No.

At the time in the UK when you could only use your own bank's ATMs, the Building Societies and some smaller banks got together and created the LINK network to enable them to serve their customers via each other's ATM networks. (Actually, some of them created the 'rival' Matrix network - but that eventually merged with LINK.)

Larger banks eventually set up reciprocal deals or formed networks between them, though I seem to recall them taking the opportunity to charge their customers for this service. Around the turn of the century, they all joined LINK, and most charges were dropped. Now virtually any bank/building society's customers can use virtually any other bank/building society's ATMs (for free).

ATMs that charge you in the UK are not to operated by a bank or building society, but will still connect to your bank/bs via the LINK network.

Anonymous Coward
Happy

I use bitcoin...

...because it is web scale.

Eclectic Man

But ...

Over the weekend my local Pret a Manger had a power cut and today will only take cash payments due to non-working EFTPOS terminals.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: But ...

Oh, wow! How did you stand the noise made by all the millennials suddenly unable to pay, or more likely, moaning about the local wifi being out?

AndrueC Silver badge
Thumb Up

I almost never go into a shop as all my purchases are made online. I think the last hold-out was greetings cards but Moonpig solved that problem several years ago. I usually have a tenner in my wallet but no coins on me. I have a few in the centre console of my car due to an incident with a mobile phone that I've previously mentioned on this illustrious forum.

But I'd say I live not only a cashless life but the vast majority of my purchases are virtual as well. The only regular physical payments are petrol and golf clubs when I'm playing away.

Oh and to help knock the ageist Luddism accusations on the head I'm 50.

Pen-y-gors Silver badge

Food? Drink? Or are you one of these who encourage Asda/Tesco vans to block the traffic while they deliver?

John 110
Unhappy

cashless

I live a cashless life as well, but not in a good way...

IsJustabloke Silver badge
Meh

Greetings cards?

"I think the last hold-out was greetings cards but Moonpig solved that"

I solved that particular problem by never buying the things in the first place.

Korev Silver badge
Joke

Re: Greetings cards?

That's the Hallmark of a great person

ad47uk

i do not mind doing some shopping online, if i can not get it localy, but I prefer to do proper shopping. i seen people doing online food shopping and to me it is more of a hassle.

Age have nothing to do with it, I know some people in their 20s and 30s who do not do online line shopping.

VinceH Silver badge

Online shopping for things like groceries is madness. You have to trust that you're going to get a decent shelf life on the things you buy, whether the fresh stuff is as fresh as it can be, etc - whereas if you shop in person at a real shop, you can ensure you get the best possible from what's on display and available.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Oh and to help knock the ageist Luddism accusations on the head I'm 50."

Youngsters these days...

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"if you shop in person at a real shop, you can ensure you get the best possible from what's on display and available."

Or, if you're in Yorkshire you can choose the "reduced - still fresh" options. Morrisons seem to have improved their patisserie stock control to distressing degree recently.

Kiwi Silver badge
Pint

Re: cashless

I live a cashless life as well, but not in a good way...

Have a virtual one of these. Afraid it's about all I can afford :(

lglethal Silver badge
Mushroom

Hang on a sec...

Once you have the ATM installed, what costs are involved that would make it so unprofitable you would remove it just because your fee is reduced by 5c per transaction?

A Little bit of electricity? An Internet Connection? It's surely not going to use much of either. Getting the machine restocked each day/week? But surely that would be an on call type of thing, so you only restock once the machine is empty (or close to), and if a full ATM getting emptied isnt profitable then that 5c reduction isnt going to change anything.

Me thinks, I hear a fearmonger at work - "Oh no 5c less per Transaction? We'll end up with an ATM-apocalypse..."

Ellipsis
Stop

Re: Hang on a sec...

It doesn’t matter how low the operating costs are; they always greater than zero, and the profit generated is negligible. Every fee-free ATM is unprofitable, and every business seeks to eliminate unprofitable activities…

(Furthermore, I doubt the restocking services comes cheap, given the risks involved; and you didn’t mention increased insurance premiums for having a high-risk theft target on the premises, or the cost of renting the space taken up by the machine that could otherwise be used for profitable business…)

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Hang on a sec...

They are only fee-free for the end users, not for the service itself.

The ATM owners still charge for the services, it's one of the reasons some ATMs will repeatedly ask if you want to see your balance, when all you want is cash, because they can then charge your bank more money, as you used two (or more) services from the ATM, not just one.

Ellipsis
Go

Re: Hang on a sec...

Mmm, fair point. I was mixing up bank-operated ATMs (which really do cost the banks a fortune) and non-bank ones (which as you point out the banks pay for as well – and by my own logic must at least break even, or they wouldn’t exist)…

Graham Cobb

Re: Hang on a sec...

I suspect many of the ATMs round here (a rural area) do make a loss. They are mostly inside small shops and I suspect the shopkeepers tolerate a small loss in order to get the additional foot traffic (I have certainly gone to use the ATM and left having bought several things I hadn't planned). A really big problem with village shops is just getting volume of traffic so they can sell stuff before it hits end-of-life. This is the same reason some are still willing to have Post Office functions -- not to make money but to get people into the shop.

Even a small reduction in charges probably will cause several of those to disappear as the shopkeeper decides they can't afford the fractionally higher loss on already very small profits. Which is a shame as in these cases they really do provide an important service, often offering the only ATM in a village.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Hang on a sec...

"Every fee-free ATM is unprofitable, and every business seeks to eliminate unprofitable activities."

Which was the point of my earlier post. The banks set up ATMs to save money, which they still do in comparison with the costs of counter staff (who, if they're anything like the last Lloyds' counter staff I encountered will also cost custom). It ill becomes them to then complain about the cost of saving money and it would serve them right if we went back to asking for cash at the counters.

Chris King Silver badge
Facepalm

Yeah, like THAT's going to happen !

"LINK wants to manage the process to prune ATMs in areas where there are multiple machines very close together while safeguarding provision of ATMs in deprived communities, where demand would not otherwise make one viable"

TRANSLATION: Our members will moan about having to service machines in remote locations, so we'll let them remove them anyway. I'm sure a crappy little machine inside a dodgy corner shop that charges £1.50 a transaction will be a suitable replacement, assuming the shop is open when people actually need cash.

My previous bank had a "satellite" branch in a local estate agents, then they decided to shut it down and told me that my nearest branch would be twenty miles away. In a place that I could reach on ONE bus a week, on a Thursday.

Then they wondered why I wanted to close my accounts. Icon says it all.

Pen-y-gors Silver badge

Buy local.

Our village has only two places to spend money - the pub and the community shop/cafe. Both take plastic - but, the shop does cashback and, since upgrading to pay-by-bonk there's no minimum spend either, so more use cards anyway but can easily withdraw some cash to put in the collection on Sunday. Of course locals just put it all on the slate...

Nearest bank 9 miles, nearest branch of my bank 30 miles.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Buy local.

"withdraw some cash to put in the collection on Sunday. Of course locals just put it all on the slate."

They put the collection on the slate?

RyokuMas Silver badge
Coat

Fine...

I'll have a tenner's worth of shopping and £250 cashback, please...

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Fine...

"I'll have a tenner's worth of shopping and £250 cashback, please..."

Most shops limit it to £50.

Craig 2

The decline in cash use has inadvertently (or not...) increased the surveillance footprint of everyone.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Don't forget loyalty cards! We all know what they are really for, but I'm sure most regular users out there have no real idea!

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

"Don't forget loyalty cards!"

I only use one for Morrisons because I spend over £100-£150 on diesel there every week. Since I have the card, I use it for the shopping there too every week. What Mr Morrison ought to have noticed is that my weekly shopped has declined in value over the last few years. I've always shopped around a bit, used a decent local greengrocers and butchers, but when Aldi opened locally they got a lot of my trade and now Lidl has opened up across the road from Aldi too. The few items I do buy from Morrisons now are those items I can't get anywhere else. I won't even touch their own brand "Savers" beans any more (ingredients for soups, stews, chillis etc) because the so-called 400g tin is almost half empty now, being topped up with watery "sauce".

Hairy Spod

Justification

I remember when they paid me interest on a current account and they paid a cashier to sit behind a counter to give me my money for free.

How on earth as consumers can we accept it as inevitible, their costs now are a fraction by comparison.

<insert too much money on bonuses comment here>

nkuk

Works well elsewhere

It works really well in Iceland, you can pay for virtually anything and everything with a card, even the smallest of purchases, and it really does make things simpler.

The only downside is that you become even more of a data-mined product than you already are.

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Works well elsewhere

With am entire countries population being the size of a moderate city in many other countries, it's probably a lot easier to roll out new services or technology nationwide.

IIRC I read somewhere recently that the annual tourist population is 10-20 times the native population :-)

Lars Silver badge
Happy

Re: Works well elsewhere

"With am entire countries population being the size of a moderate city".

Sorry but I find that argument a bit silly, still that is the way Americans are fooled to believe they can't have affordable education and health care, works a charm and calling it "socialist" even better.

Kiwi Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Works well elsewhere

Sorry but I find that argument a bit silly, still that is the way Americans are fooled to believe they can't have affordable education and health care, works a charm and calling it "socialist" even better.

The yanks actually work very hard at having a good very affordable education and health care. For the top 1%.

They achieve this by deflating wages and so on, keeping the remaining few 99% down (who lovingly make such a sacrifice for "the american way") to help keep it affordable for the rich.

teebie

"more than a quarter find it irritating when they have to pay by cash rather than card"

Did they ask how many find it irritating when they have to pay by card rather than cash?

VinceH Silver badge

That's what I was wondering. FTA:

"Given the option, 26 per cent of Brits would never choose to pay cash when buying an item in a shop and more than a quarter (26.35 per cent) find it irritating when they have to pay by cash rather than card, according to a survey commissioned by global payment experts PPRO Group."

If 26% of Brits would never choose to pay cash, that means there are 74% who either would choose to do so, or who don't mind either way - assuming the three most obvious choices. Personally, I'd like to know the overall breakdown of answers to a question like that, rather than having one cherry picked and thrown at me because it suits an agenda.

VinceH Silver badge

A quick bit of searching, and the figures come from a PPRO blog post titled The UK is going cashless - which mentions those stats, but doesn't link to any published results of the survey.

If wandered to their contact page and sent them this:

In your blog post dated 10th August 2017 - titled "The UK is going cashless" at https://www.ppro.com/blog/uk-going-cashless/ - you state that 26% of us would never choose to pay cash.

According to my maths, that means there are 74% that gave a different answer. I've had a brief search for the results of the survey itself that you refer to in that blog post, but can't find it (and you don't appear to link to any published results) - could you either tell me where it is, or provide me with the full results for that question?

Similarly with the associated statistic - that 26.35% find it irritating to pay by cash. How does the remaining 73.65% breakdown in terms of the actual question asked and options given? And was a similar question asked to determine how many people find it irritating if they have to pay by card?

As it stands, it looks as though you have cherry picked some results for the purposes of your blog post and to back your own position, but without the full results those statistics are, to be blunt, meaningless.

They'll probably think I'm some kind of internet crackpot and ignore me, but you never know.

Andrew Oakley

Theft of cash machines by JCBs

In Shropshire, Gloucestershire and other rural counties, we've seen a wave of ATM thefts. By which I mean that someone turns up with a JCB (backhoe) and simply carves the ATM out of the wall of the village shop.

It's an easy crime and village shop owners are increasingly reticent to host cash machines due to the risk of not just the ATM getting stolen, but their building being damaged and consequently being put out of business until the building is made safe, repaired or completely rebuilt.

With no post office, no local bank branches, spotty-at-best mobile data and poor broadband, this means that quite often the only means of payment is the old-fashioned chequebook.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-37437825

John Brown (no body) Silver badge

Re: Theft of cash machines by JCBs

"By which I mean that someone turns up with a JCB (backhoe) and simply carves the ATM out of the wall of the village shop."

'Round here, they don't bother with the pansy JCB option. They blow the bloody doors off!

Jamie Jones Silver badge

Re: Theft of cash machines by JCBs

Blimey! Looking at that link, I expect their Michael Caine character to shout "You were only meant to blow the bloody doors off"!

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

muggings

on the way out. Oh where are the stonings of yesteryear! :(

...

what'bout crucifictions!?

And crucifictions :/

TRT Silver badge

Re: muggings

Ok then, we'll take two pointy ones, a flat one and a bag of gravel each.

Jamie Jones Silver badge

Re: muggings

Nah, they are easier since chip and pin.. Mug someone for their cards, and verify their pin in one of those cheap card reading pinsentry things

Dwarf Silver badge

Cash will be here long beyond when we all are

Banks (and governments - don’t forget the tax tracking...) may want it all electronic, but many offices have coffee shops that only take cash and are miles from town centres, roadside burger vans won’t have a reluable data connection if any connection and the risk all moves to them with cards.

I use cash a lot in many shops and trades. I can’t pay the window cleaner with a card (they don’t take it due to the monthly cost). I haven’t seen many down and outs that take cards (at least not in that way) either. Any replacement system has to work for everyone or they will create alternate economies.

What’s the exchange rate for a sheep these days ?

Korev Silver badge
Coat

Re: Cash will be here long beyond when we all are

I woollen know, but I bet the banks fleece you

unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge

A lot of people here with something to hide.

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