As part of the UK's largest consumer group's campaign to protect the freedom to pay with cash, Which? Money has launched a series of investigations into the worrying drop in free ATM numbers, finding over 100 areas lacking sufficient ATM access, of which 64 depend mostly on Post Office branches, while 36 do not.
The most populated post-code districts which do not have a cash machine include:
- PE32 in Peterborough (15,294 residents)
- DL11 in Darlington (5,308 residents)
- NE43 in Newcastle (4,532 residents)
- NR24 in Norwich (4,462 residents)
"Between January 2018 and September 2019, the number of free-to-use ATMs reduced from 54,500 to 47,500. This fall represents a 13% reduction in the size of the free network (7,000 ATMs)."
Cash is the only payment that everyone can use, and in times of connectivity failures, the only one. Critics of the cashless trend argue that making cash less convenient (e.g. with ATM fees or removing cashpoints altogether) puts the public in a vulnerable position. Read more about what makes cash Virtually Irreplaceable here.
It comes down to choice. Does the public want to choose to use cash and/or cashless methods, or do they want no option but to pay cashless? It's time to find out. Which? and LINK have opened the floor to UK residents with an online form to request a local ATM.