ATMs to be replaced by Cashback


Cashpoints will be replaced with supermarket cashback within 5-10 years, under plans being drawn up by the Link network.

Link claims the amount being withdrawn from cash points will halve over the next decade as consumers move to using debit and credit cards for everyday spending. This will mean many cash points will shut in rural areas, according to the chief executive at Link.

While the idea sounds good in principle if you have a Link card and a large supermarket chain near you, if your card is not connected to the link network or you live in a small town or village with a local store not part of a big chain, you may lose your ATM but not have access to cashback.

Tourists (without a Link card) may be particularly affected as they may find no ATM but be unable to use the new Link Cashback scheme.


I rarely do food shopping. I wonder how happy supermarkets will be with requests for cashback without purchase; as well as more money in the tills required being a higher risk for robberies and higher insurance premiums.


Really don’t think this could be a very clever idea. I just can’t see it working.


I’m amazed by people who still use cash. I can probably count the amount of times I withdraw money in a year on one hand.

All I end up doing with supermarket cash back is leaving it at the till!


I rarely use cash but carry a tenner around just in case.

It’s normally the smaller places like the barber or local butcher that won’t take cards. Unfortunately I live in a small village and most shops, but not all, have that approach so going somewhere else wouldn’t help (unless I drove a minimum of 15 mins each way, which is a bit pointless with a cash machine in the village).

The crazy one though is the canteen in my employer’s premises. It’s a very large employer with a few thousand people working there. They have a free to use cash machine and also the tills accept cards. However, they’ll only let you pay by card if the cash machine is broken. Most employees have complained over the years, but it isn’t changing. They’re a bit remote too, so not really anywhere else to go within the lunch hour. Luckily I only visit every few months.


I think that unless they start allowing cashback at self service terminals, ATMs will still be used…

Also, I like to pay for my shopping on credit anyway (points etc.) so even if I do my shopping at a human checkout, I still use an ATM to withdraw cash on debit.


I don’t think the sums here add up at all. Cash back is a thing and retailers approve of giving out some of their excess cash (to save on processing fees), maybe that will grow over time if there are less ATMs but Link seem to be proposing that their £10k ATM be replaced by an army of cashiers who will do the ATM’s job. Clearly they have decided this market is not so sweet anymore and are trying to run away, but pitching half baked solutions to enable that. It is worth noting that the number of ATMs in the UK is still rising so this is just a Link thing rather than a market thing.

I’ve been unfortunate enough to work both as a cashier in a busy supermarket and in the ATM processing department of a major bank before so I know this is not possible.

In the supermarket a cashier would start the day with a couple hundred quid in coins and a couple of fivers and as the day goes on and they build up some cash they will give some of it out as cash back and send the rest to the cash office to ensure they don’t have too much cash in their till which is obviously a security risk when it is in a public area and can be opened by pressing a button on a screen. The goal of cashback for the retailer is to hold as little cash as possible and save on processing fees when they send the cash back to their bank.

The average major bank’s ATM is loaded with about £100,000 and the average supermarket cashier has about £100-1000 in their till. How and why would the retailer replicate an ATM at that scale when the whole reason they want to give cash back is because they don’t want to be holding any cash? Instead of starting with £200 in coins would the cashier start with £50,000 in notes and an armed guard on their shoulder? Not practical at all and that doesn’t consider that supermarkets will not want their cashiers spending hours being a banker. They are already trying to replace all their cashiers with food ATMs!

Also replacing ATMs altogether would be problematic for the Bank of England as ATMs provide a crucial role in the cash ecosystem for them by allowing new notes to enter the system directly at the bottom of the chain. Recently the new £10 note entered the ecosystem by the billions of pounds via ATMs and the old notes have been exiting the system via business and customer deposits to banks. How would old notes leave the system on this scale if they just went back and forth endlessly between business and customer?

I think Link are just trying to drum up publicity to enable them to charge fees or give them an excuse to leave isolated communities.


Just tried to Like your post and it told me:

“You’ve reached the maximum number of likes today. Please wait 418472.11117189896 hours before trying again.”

That is a lot of hours!

Forum Bug: "You’ve reached the maximum number of likes today."

Likewise, I’ll report it as a bug and get it looked into. :slight_smile:

Also for anyone curious that amount of hours only equals 17436.33796549579 days. :stuck_out_tongue:


Ha ha…I’ll be cremated and sprinkled in the sea or burried and eaten by worms before those days are out!

I think now it is a problem my end as happening on any Discourse site I am on.


I’m having the same problem too; am browsing using mobile Chrome here on Android. I’m guessing it’s a Discourse software problem if it’s happening on other communities too?


Yes it does appear to be a Discourse issue. A similar thread to this is now on a few other sites incl Monzo (AKA The Bait and Switch Bank)


And that’s the case for moving from a paper and metal based token system to a wholly electronic system.


I very rarely use a cash machine and that’s only if I need things like a Taxi, but if I’m in the pub I just get cashback late and night rather than stand at a cash machine. It will cut down on robberies if people just got cash back rather than using an ATM. So it’s not all bad.

Very rare you can’t find a place that does cashback, but they would need it so that you don’t have to spend anything, which I can’t see shops doing, so from that aspect I can’t see it working.


What Link could do would be maybe talk to retailers and see if there’s some sort of automated till they could have setup so people can just maybe insert their card, type in their pin and get cash out without having to queue up and buy a bar of chocolate to get £20 out.

Maybe they could stick their automated tills in a big box which would mean they could even be installed on the outside of shops and places of interest like train stations so you can get cash even when the shop is closed as well?


How is this different than an ATM? :wink: