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

Cash back: ATM withdrawals on the rise for budget-conscious Brits
Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

Figures from Nationwide show that cash usage has risen for the second year in a row as people use notes and coins to budget during the cost of living crisis.

Nationwide said that 31.4 million withdrawals were made from Nationwide ATMs last year. The building society reported that its ATMs in Twickenham, Redruth and Purley saw respective rises in cash withdrawals of 154%, 144% and 92% year-on-year. Consumers also used cash machines for services such as mini-statements and paying bills.

The Nationwide data also shows that where the building society is the last remaining branch in town, the growth in usage is at its most pronounced.

Many banks have closed significant numbers of branches in recent years, but Nationwide has reaffirmed its commitment to communities by continuing to offer face-to-face service. Nationwide’s Branch Promise means everywhere it has a branch, it will remain until at least 2026.

The building society currently has a network of more than 1,200 ATMs – with ATM withdrawals in 2023 showing a 4% increase on 2022. 

The average amount of cash taken out on each withdrawal from Nationwide ATMs was around £105 last year, a 1% increase on the previous year.

It marked the second consecutive annual rise as 2022 saw the first rise in cash withdrawals for 13 years. Prior to 2022, the number of cash withdrawals had been steadily declining, most sharply at the start of the pandemic when the number of withdrawals at Nationwide ATMs dropped more than 40% in a year.

Otto Benz, director of payments at Nationwide, said: “ATMs play a vital role in society, enabling people to easily access and manage their money flow. We now have the largest branch network in the UK, which allows us to support customers who want access to cash, whether from our ATMs or over the counter. Unfortunately, the large banks have closed, and in some cases are still closing large numbers of branches, meaning far fewer free-to-use ATMs are available.

“ATMs do more than just dispense cash – nearly half of transactions are from people paying money in, checking their balance or paying a household bill. This goes to show this is far from the end for cash and we will continue to offer our customers the ability to access their money on their terms whether that be digitally or in branch.”

When it comes to depositing cash, over the past five years (2018 to 2023) Nationwide has seen a 10% increase in the number of times its ATMs are used to deposit cash into accounts, with the average amount deposited rising to £277 – a 29% increase on five years ago.