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Digital Britain: The UK areas losing the most cash machines

In 2023 the trend of embedded finance will continue to grow rapidly.

The pound fell to a 37-year low against the dollar
The pound fell to a 37-year low against the dollar - Copyright AFP Peter PARKS
The pound fell to a 37-year low against the dollar - Copyright AFP Peter PARKS

The U.K. continues to gravitate towards a cashless society. One consequence of this has been the disappearance of cash machines in many areas. While this reflects the widespread use of debit and credit cards, including contactless payments, a lack of cash machines hits some communities harder than others.

Such communities include those in areas where the median income levels are lower (a trend that has been underway for almost a decade). In addition, some groups within these communities, like the elderly, are also affected. It also stands that some cash machines provide withdrawal services with no change and others require a payment for the service. In poorer communities, it is the free vend machines that have disappeared at a faster rate than the machines that require payment.

A new study has revealed the U.K. regions and constituencies with the biggest cash machine decline since 2018 . From July 2018, the U.K. has lost 21 percent of automatic teller machines (ATMs), with 13,679 being closed down. London is the region with the highest decline, with 25 percent of traditional ATMs no longer in service

The study comes from Swedish Banking as a Service provider, Intergiro, using data from Parliament Commons Library, the experts found that London is the region with the biggest decline, with 2,428 ATMs closing down since July 2018.

However, the South East currently has 6.7 ATMs per 10,000 residents, which is the lowest ratio overall.

The North West, including Liverpool and Greater Manchester, is also taking steps towards digital first banking, as the data shows 1,514 cash machines have closed down in the last four years, equating to 20% overall.

Taking Northern Ireland into consideration, the data reveals that traditional ATMs aren’t declining as rapidly here, with a decline of 13 percent equating to 269 in total. There are 9.6 ATMs per 10,000 people which is the highest ratio when considering this factor.

The overall pattern is:

Region No. of ATMS May-22 Change % change ATMs per 10,000 residents
UK52,258-13,679-21%7.8
London7,372-2,428-25%8.2
South East6,201-1,873-23%6.7
North East6,060-1,514-20%8.2
West Midlands4,817-1,195-20%8.1
East4,257-1,148-21%6.8
South West3,839-1,103-22%6.8
Scotland5,106-1,048-17%9.3
East Midlands3,549-980-22%7.3
Yorks and Humber4,332-934-18%7.8
Wales2,550-639-20%8.0
North East2,363-548-19%8.8
N. Ireland1,812-269-13%9.6

From all London constituencies, the City of London and Westminster lost the most overall (307), with 855 in July 2018 and just 548 in February 2022. Over in Scotland, Glasgow Central has seen a decline of 92 ATMs, with 258 still standing.  In the North West, Manchester Central is the area with the most axed ATMs (92) in comparison to Liverpool which has lost less than half at 42.

The West Midlands sees Birmingham, Ladywood most adaptive to digital first, while the same applies to Bristol West in the South West.  Sheffield has lost the highest number of ATMs in Yorkshire and the Humber (66), while Cardiff Central is the most cashless constituency in Wales.

Intergiro CEO Nick Root explains: “As we move into 2023, we anticipate that the trend of embedded finance will continue to grow rapidly. More and more companies are offering comprehensive suite of embedded finance APIs, reducing the barriers to entry for new companies wanting to provide innovative financial services to their target market, catering specifically to their customers’ needs.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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