ATM network Link said their customer’s usage of the cash machines and cash has fallen by 50% during last week.
This unprecedented decline in the use of cash is clearly connected to shops across the UK shutting down and people moving to contactless payments to avoid Covid-19 contamination from banknotes.
This serious decrease comes just a few weeks after the World Health Organisation urged people to use contactless following the revelation the virus could live on banknotes for several days.
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Link also claims that with the end of this crisis it is very likely that some consumers’ cash usage habits will be fundamentally changed. However, the requirement for cash access, as a contingency and for vulnerable consumers will be more important than ever.
LINK recommends that people take the usual hygiene precautions for contact with surfaces whenever they are using ATMs, spending cash, or making payments – washing your hands as soon as possible and refraining, if possible, from touching the eyes, nose and mouth pic.twitter.com/2aQiCm39z8
— LINK Scheme (@LINK_ATM_Scheme) March 19, 2020
Link is working closely with its members, regulators, industry bodies and others to ensure consumers can still access their cash during the Covid-19 outbreak.
John Howells, Link chief executive, said: “These are difficult and challenging times, but I would like to reassure everyone that Link remains as committed as ever to ensuring people can continue to access their cash. I and the whole Link board would also like to thank our members and the many, many people who are working hard behind the scenes to keep the ATM network going.”
From April 1, the limit of contactless payments will be raised from £30 to £45.
This will mean a lesser amount of people will need to enter their pin code when making a payment with their card – and will also give shoppers more opportunities to “tap and go” when in the past they may have used cash.
Sources: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/35517/cash-usage-in-britain-drops-by-half https://www.talkingretail.com/news/industry-news/coronavirus-link-provides-cash-update-25-03-2020/ https://www.thenational.scot/news/uk-news/18330147.atm-use-sees-significant-fall-people-stay-home/