The UK’s largest ATM service provider is revising its plan to gradually lower interchange fees by 20% over a four-year period. Indeed, following calls for government regulation by consumers rights groups and public uproar, Link has decided to back off from the last two 5% tranches scheduled for 2020 and 2021. The first 5% reduction was implemented at the beginning of July 2018 and the second one is scheduled for January 2019.
Consumer adoption of alternative payment methods in the UK appears to also be affecting ATM usage statistics, another factor that might be contributing to Link’s revision of the controversial interchange policy, which was meant to reduce fees from 25 pence to 20 pence per transaction. Consumer groups criticize this move as it inevitably pushes ATM service providers to either add fees to previously free-to-use ATMs, or to simply shut them down. This is particularly problematic for residents of rural areas according to a survey on the issue by consumer rights group Which?.
Link’s Chief Executive, John Howells has stated that the network is working on adjusting its interchange fees policy and will commit to maintain free-to-use ATMs accessible to consumers.