PSR to continue oversight of the ATM network

The Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) is consulting on a proposed new Specific Direction which will ensure LINK continues to maintain broad geographic coverage of the Free-To-Use (FTU) ATM network in the UK to support access to cash.

In a statement, the PSR said the new Direction will replace Specific Direction 8 (SD8) which expires in January 2022.

Over five million people in the UK rely on cash - the second most frequently used payment method, after cards.

The PSR said ATMs are an important part of the cash infrastructure as most people access their cash through these machines.

The PSR’s priority therefore is to “support the ATM network and ensure it remains sustainable, resilient and accessible to those who need it,” it said.

Annual reviews of SD8 show that LINK’s application of policies and measures have been generally effective.

This proposed new Specific Direction will require LINK to continue to have in place and maintain appropriate policies and measures so that the broad geographic spread of the FTU ATM Network can be maintained.

This draft specific direction requires:

LINK’s policies and measures to meet certain objectives – this includes requiring LINK to set out the criteria it will use to determine the circumstances in which alternative cash access will be considered as an adequate substitute for a lost ATM.

LINK to provide the PSR with one months’ notice if it proposes to vary, revoke or replace any of its procedures, policies processes and measures. LINK cannot bring any of its proposed changes into effect if the PSR raises objections within the one-month notice period

Genevieve Marjoribanks, the PSR’s Head of Policy, said: “Despite the recent decline in cash usage, there are still over five million people that rely on it.

“A key part of our role is making sure the markets we regulate support choice and help people pay in ways that work for them and – in this case – so they can withdraw cash when they want to without having to travel too far.”

Feedback to the consultation can be submitted until 16 November 2021.

This new Direction will replace Specific Direction 8 (SD8) which expires in January 2022.

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