Treasury Minister Holds LINK to Account on ATM Interchange Fee Cut

ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed comments from the Exchequer Secretary, who said that the Government would hold LINK to account on their commitment to do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect the broad geographic spread of ATMs. 

During the debate on the future of ATMs and LINK’s plans to cut interchange fees, Exchequer Secretary Robert Jenrick MP said: “We set the PSR (Payment Services Regulator) up in 2015 with a specific statutory objective to ensure that the interests of the users of payment systems - not those of the banks - are promoted, with robust powers to enforce that. We expect the PSR to step in and act if needed. I have spoken to the PSR and to LINK, and the PSR understands the importance that the Government place on free access to cash, and the strength of feeling in Parliament and the country.”
At the end of January, LINK confirmed that they would be reducing the interchange fee for card transactions (paid by the banks to the ATM providers) from 25p to 20p over the next four years. 
Simon Hoare MP led the debate on the future of ATMs, referencing ACS’ briefing: “The Association of Convenience Stores does not support LINK's decision. It has raised a number of issues, including bank closures, saying that ‘the withdrawal of ATMs has increased the role that ATM providers and convenience stores play in providing consumers with access to cash’.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome the reassurance from the Minister that the cut in interchange fees will be carefully scrutinised and that the Payment Services Regulator will intervene if the users of free to use ATMs are affected. Free to use ATMs are essential for our members, providing access to cash for customers and facilitating spending in local shops, markets and other small businesses that only accept cash as payment.”

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.

The full debate is available here

This entry was posted by Chloe on Fri, 02/03/2018 - 10:06