There are feats that free access to cash machines could be coming to an end
The members of the Link ATM network – which operates 70,000 cash machines – across the UK will meet next week to decide if some firms will drop out.
But if a new funding agreement is not reached it could spell disaster for Britons who rely on the free services to avoid incurring bank fees.
The changes could lead to closures of some cash machines in rural areas as it may cost too much to keep them running.
It would also be a blow for bank-users who have enjoyed widespread access to cash machines for years.
And the change would prompt more criticism for banks who are already under pressure for closing locations in rural areas, The Telegraph reports.
At present, there are 70,000 ATMs in the network and around 16,000 charge users a fee to withdraw cash, according to figures obtained by the newspaper.
Customers may have to pay more for cash withdrawls if talks fail
Just under 10 years ago, in 2008, there were 27,000 ATMs that charged people to take out cash, figures from Payments UK reveal.
However, consumers have steadily become used to getting their cash for free and the number of people who pay to take out their cash is as low as three per cent.
At present, the fees at ATMs can top £1.80 or be much less – the ones that cost more are usually located inside small corner shops.
Members of the Link ATM network – which operates 70,000 cash machines – across the UK will meet next
The Link scheme sees 39 members paying into the network taking into account the number of cardholders customers and their transactions.
The formula is dependent on a customer from one bank using a cash machine of another and a payment of 25p being made from the first bank to the second bank.
Yet, problems arise when some banks have a large numbers of cardholders compared to the number of cash machines that they operate.
British consumers have steadily become used to getting their cash for free
They can prompt disputes with rivals if they believe that the fee is excessive.
It may also have an impact on accounts offered by banks as those banks with the largest network could remain free while others struggle to provide the services.
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