Loss of 1,500 cash machines ‘stifling small retailers’

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has voiced concern that the closure of cash machines across the UK is impacting the small businesses, especially retailers. The rate of closures is expected quicken as a cut to the fee card issuers pay the cashpoint operators (the interchange fee) came into force on 1st July, meaning cash machines are now less profitable to operate.

Responding to research from Which? magazine that showed 1,500 cash machines closed in the first half of 2018, FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry said: “It looks as though the prospect of LINK’s interchange fee cut alone is enough to cause cash points to disappear at an alarming rate. Introduction of the cut will likely see the situation go from bad to worse.

“Coupled with more than 2,000 bank branch closures over the past three years, this fresh attack on free access to cash is hurting high streets all over the country. Often these ATM closures are happening in areas where the majority of small business customers pay in cash, damaging local economies in the process. Card payments are important but they come with charges that small business owners are forced to absorb on top of other mounting costs.

“Half of our members say they’re already a kilometre or more from their nearest cash point. Six in 10 of our retailers say cashpoints are important to the success of their firm. The Payment Systems Regulator must step-in before even more damage is done.”

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