British Soldiers Defend Community Cash Access
Soldiers of the 39 Engineer Regiment, based in Kinloss in Scotland, have not only succeeded in saving the cash machine at their barracks from being scrapped, they also had it moved outside the perimeter fence so locals could access it as well as Army personnel.
This welcome news is part of a growing movement across the UK of people—especially in rural communities—taking it upon themselves to secure access to cash. The Kinloss Barracks machine is part of a community request scheme run by LINK, suppliers of ATMs, which has thus far installed over 50 new machines across the country.
The new cash machine is now in operation at The Guardroom. Its location, outside the perimeter fence, will ensure that the benefits are felt by our local community, who will be able to access the machine to make cash withdrawals.
78 percent of Brits are against the idea of a cashless society, according to a recent survey by behavioural research company SimpleUsability, and people have a wide variety of reasons for wanting to preserve payment choice. For some, it’s the unique anonymity offered by cash—especially with crime surrounding cashless payments a growing problem worldwide—while others find it a useful way to budget and manage their finances. For some, cashless is simply not an option.
From those with a poor credit history to the unemployed and homeless, there are millions of people in the UK who don’t have a bank account, and we mustn’t forget them as we start to recover from the events of the past year.
Another community enjoying new life thanks to improved cash access to Llandegfan, a small village in Anglesey, Wales. Like the Kinloss barracks, Llandegfan has had a free-to-use cash point installed in the village store. Now—rather than having to travel miles to get cash at a Waitrose in another town—locals have ‘a much-needed financial lifeline’.
As well as being able to withdraw cash, a new service has been introduced that allows people to pay their council tax and utility bills in cash as the store. Shop keeper Fionn Verburg notes this is especially helpful for the ‘many’ who are ‘not confident’ with transferring money online.
In England, locals of Barton, near Oxford, have also benefitted from renewed cash access. Many in the community living on lower incomes had begun to struggle after charges were introduced to the existing cash point. The new machine is free to use.
Lots of people here are on very low incomes and some depend on benefits, or are elderly and living off small pensions… People were losing £30 a month or so in fees once the closest machine started charging for withdrawals. It is a massive amount of money for groups like ours.