No-fee ATMs to be installed in poor areas

| June 19, 2007 | 0 Comments
No-fee ATMs to be installed in poor areas

In an attempt to give more people access to no-fee cash machines, the banking industry will install several hundred ATMs in poor areas of the UK over the next few months. The move comes after some members of Parliament expressed concerns that some poor people only have access to cash machines that charge a fee - up to £3 per transaction - to withdraw cash. The concern is that poor people cannot afford to travel as far to find a cash machine, limiting their choices as to what machines to use.

The goal is to install 600 new machines by the end of the year. Already, 127 new ATMs have been installed as part of the program, giving more than 260,000 low-income residents easier, cheaper access to their cash. Another 344 of the machines are expected to be installed before the end of 2007, bringing the program much closer to its target.

The UK currently has 61,000 ATMs in operation. 26,000 of those charge a fee for withdraw cash, but only account for 4 percent of total withdrawals. Those machines are typically located in places such as pubs petrol stations, and shops. The remaining 35,000 non-fee machines, most located in supermarkets, banks, and building societies, account for 96 percent of withdrawals. Installation of the new machines is being overseen by the LINK network which runs them. The new machines are being paid for at least partly by the transaction fees charged to banks and building societies by the network when their customers use the machines.

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