ACS: Interchange Fee Cut Will Hit ATM Network

ACS has condemned a move from LINK, which has today confirmed that it will reduce the interchange fee for card transactions by 5p over the next four years.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Banks have been cutting back their own branch networks, and now they are reducing the interchange fees that fund the network of ATMs provided by retailers and private companies in places that banks have abandoned.  We are concerned that this will lead to a reduction in the number of ATMs, and their reach and accessibility for all types of communities.

“We are not convinced that the measures to support isolated ATMs go far enough, and we will be monitoring closely the impact of the reduction in interchange fees on cash machines hosted by our members.”

Throughout LINK’s consultation process, the Treasury Select Committee have raised concerns about the impact that reducing interchange fees will have on local communities’ access to cash, especially in isolated areas.

Mr Lowman continued: “We welcome the interest shown in this issue by the Treasury Select Committee led by Nicky Morgan MP, and we will continue to work with the Committee, other parliamentarians and the Government to ensure that we maintain the provision of cash to all types of communities.”

The 2017 Local Shop Report shows that 58% of stores in the convenience sector have a cash machine. 45% of stores provide a free to use cash machine, while 13% have charged cash machines.

Cash remains an essential method of payment for customers in convenience stores, with HIM research showing that 76% of customers pay in cash.

Commenting on today’s announcement by LINK on the future of ATMs, Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said: “Any significant reduction in free access to cash would be an unacceptable outcome. This will be the first major test for the Payment Systems Regulator. They must ensure that customers do not lose out as a result of LINK’s proposals.

“LINK’s monthly reports to the PSR on the impact of these changes should be put in the public domain. If concerns remain, the regulator should not hesitate to intervene. As Hannah Nixon told the Committee, the PSR has the power to insist on a moratorium on the proposals.

“The Committee will take a very dim view if all those with a role to play – be that LINK, the banks, the ATM deployers, or the PSR – fail to work constructively to ensure that the 2.7 million people reliant almost entirely on cash transactions aren’t cut off.”

The full announcement from LINK is available here:

This entry was posted by Chris on Wed, 31/01/2018 - 09:05