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Link and PayPoint offer free cash withdrawals from retailers’ tills

Written by: Emma Lunn
The trial of purchase-free fee-free cashback at local convenience stores is part of the Community Access to Cash Pilots.

The scheme is being trialled across 13 small shops in four communities across the UK. It means consumers won’t have to make a purchase when making a cash withdrawal.

It is being run by cash machine network Link, and in-store payment services and ATM provider PayPoint.

The trial is being piloted in 13 shops across Burslem in Staffordshire, Hay-on-Wye in Powys, Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire, and Denny in Falkirk.

To date, more than 1,500 cash withdrawals and 165 balance enquiries have been made with an average withdrawal size of £26.80.

Retailers are remunerated for providing this service by the cardholder’s bank via PayPoint. Consumers using the service can withdraw precise amounts rather than be restricted to the denominations of notes dispensed by ATMs.

The launch follows a new consultation from HM Treasury on protecting access to cash.

The initiative is a key part of Link’s efforts to develop a multi-channel approach to cash withdrawals. It has invested £1m in the pilot and a local marketing campaign will take place in each community to ensure consumers are aware of the new facility.

Adrian Roberts, Link’s chief commercial officer, said: “The pilot has got off to a strong start and it’s very encouraging to see so many consumers making use of and benefitting from this new service. As we use less cash, solutions such as this become more important as ways of providing free access to cash in all communities. Last week the government began consulting on protecting cash access and we’re very pleased to see cashback without purchase as one of the proposed solutions.”

John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “It is vital that we find new ways to ensure consumers and businesses can easily access cash in their local area. The government is currently exploring how to make cashback without a purchase widely available from local retailers, and I am pleased to see good early demand in these industry trials. These pilots, and others in the Community Access to Cash Initiative, will provide important lessons as we develop new legislation to protect access to cash.”

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