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Brits withdrew average of £1,500 each from cash machines in 2023

Brits withdrew average of £1,500 each from cash machines in 2023
Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

UK consumers withdrew a total of £81bn from ATMs in 2023, down from the 2022 figure of £83bn.

According to LINK, the average UK adult made 15 trips to a cash machine last year, withdrawing an average total of £1,484 each (down from £1,564 in 2022).

In total, UK adults over the age of 16 made 975 million visits to a cash machine in 2023, with ATMs representing 93% of all cash withdrawals in the UK, ahead of counter transactions at bank branches and Post Offices.

Across the UK, Northern Ireland remains the most cash heavy part of the country with Northern Irish banking customers withdrawing an average £2,340, the only region to see an increase in cash withdrawals per person in 2023.

The second and third cash heaviest regions were the North East (£1,718) and London (£1,684). ATM use was lowest in the South West, where the average customer withdrew £1,064 followed closely behind by the South East (£1,145).

Number of cash machines falling

LINK pointed out that as cash use continues to decline, the number of cash machines has fallen. By the end of 2023, there were 5% fewer cash machines than at the end of 2022 (51,253 vs 48,401) – and this number is expected to continue to decrease.

Figures from the cash machine network show there are currently 38,480 free-to-use machines down from 40,869 at the end of 2022. There are also 9,921 charging ATMs, down from 10,384 on the previous year.

LINK regularly conducts polls data to understand the changing payment habits of UK adults.

It has found that as more people become comfortable using contactless and digital payments, alongside more shops accepting non-cash payments, ATM use has changed.

LINK highlighted that through the pandemic and lockdowns, people who used to visit ATMs a couple of times per week switched to once a week or fortnight. This habit has largely continued but with customers typically withdrawing £85 each visit compared to £65 pre-pandemic.

Despite debit cards being the most popular form of payment, 70% of UK adults say they regularly use cash. The most popular locations for cash use are convenience stores and supermarkets. 

LINK expects cash machine numbers to continue to fall

Graham Mott, LINK director of strategy, said: “Overall, cash and ATM use has been slowly declining over the past year. While we saw a steep fall in withdrawals during the pandemic, typically around £1.5bn is still withdrawn from cash machines every week. We know that more people are shopping online and paying for things using their debit card or phone, however, cash remains popular and our research shows its importance when helping people across all age groups to budget.

“Long term, LINK expects cash machine numbers to continue to fall. These are generally in busy city and town centres, where there are quite often five or 10 on one street or in supermarkets, where three machines may become two or one. What’s important is that we continue to make sure consumers’ free access to cash does not decline and we protect every high street. The good news is that there is now a law to protect access to cash. Alongside ATMs, LINK will continue recommend new banking hubs and deposit services that will protect cash services across the UK.”

Related: Cash back: ATM withdrawals on the rise for budget-conscious Brits