Coronavirus: UK cash usage halves during pandemic
Cash usage in the UK has dropped by 50% over the past week, according to analysis from Link, operator of the nation’s biggest network of ATMs.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused a shift towards contactless payments, the closure of retail stores, and concerns over the hygiene levels of cash notes, all factors contributing to the dramatic downturn in its usage.
Link states in an announcement that though the ATM system was operating at its normal levels, the body would be working closely with banks and regulators to make sure that cash continues to be available.
Link expects the change to become semi-permanent. “Looking forward to the end of this crisis it is very likely that some consumers’ cash usage habits will have fundamentally changed,” it writes.
“A fundamental review and potential restructuring of the country’s ATM network and its business model may therefore be necessary.”
John Howells, Link CEO, adds that his firm remains “committed as ever” to ensuring that people continue to have access to their cash.
Earlier this week shops and banks in the UK agreed to raise the contactless payments limit from £30 to £45.
Mobile phone users can already make contactless payment of more than £30 through a combination of near-field communication (NFC) and an entry of their PIN.