UK adults withdrew £1,500 on average from ATMs during 2020, says Link

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent
Around £1,500 was withdrawn from ATMs on average per adult last year, according to Link (Aaron Chown/PA)

Around £1,500 was withdrawn from ATMs on average per adult last year, despite the impact of the coronavirus crisis, according to Link, the UK’s main cash machine network.

This was around £660 less per adult in the UK population than in 2019, when more than £2,100 was withdrawn per person typically.

Link said £81 billion was withdrawn in 2020 in total, compared with £116 billion in 2019 – marking a fall of around 30%.

An average of 32 visits were made per person to ATMs in 2019 and in 2020 this fell to 20.

Link said the volume of ATM transactions has tended to fall by about 10% annually in recent years as consumers have turned to alternative payment methods such as contactless cards or online payments.

In April 2020, just after the UK went into its initial national lockdown, ATM transactions fell by as much as 68%, it said.

Although people visited cash machines less frequently in 2020, they took out higher average amounts than they did in 2019.

The average withdrawal value was nearly £80 in 2020, compared with just under £70 in 2019.

Link chief executive officer John Howells said: “The coronavirus has changed our relationship with cash. More people are now confident and happy to shop online or use contactless payments. Our research shows 75% say they will use less cash going forward.

“However, the sharp decline in ATM use brings significant problems.”

He added: “The good news is that the Government has said it will be bringing forward legislation to protect access to cash but this is needed urgently.”

Here are average withdrawals made from ATMs per adult in 2019, followed by in 2020, according to Link:

– Northern Ireland, £2,931, £2,124

– London, £2,572, £1,838

– Scotland, £2,553, £1,670

– North West, £2,420, £1,745

– Yorkshire and the Humber, £2,379, £1,705

– North East, £2,378, £1,711

– West Midlands, £2,191, £1,612

– East Midlands, £2,017, £1,427

– Wales, £2,005, £1,407

– East of England, £1,894, £1,299

– South East, £1,780, £1,196

– South West, £1,684, £1,090

– UK average,  £2,193, £1,534

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