On 6 June 2019, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) published a call for views paper on the incentives to deploy free-to-use ATMs in the LINK network, as part of its review of structure of LINK interchange fees.

The PSR is considering ways to protect the current spread of free-to-use ATMs, while also improving access to cash more generally. The paper focuses on the LINK interchange fee structure, this structure determines the amount that a customer’s bank pays to an ATM provider when cash is withdrawn or other services (such as balance inquiries) are provided.

ATMs are provided by both banks and independent ATM deployers. Their decisions on where to locate an ATM, whether it should remain open, or whether it should be free-to-use or pay-to-use are affected by the interchange fees. This means that the interchange fee structure is an important factor affecting the geographic and socio-economic distribution of free-to-use ATMs.

The paper specifically seeks views on the following areas:

  • the description and framework for considering the costs of providing ATMs and the value they provide that are set out by the PSR;
  • factors that should be taken into account when analysing the incentives to provide ATMs;
  • the incentives and impacts that existing LINK interchange fee arrangements as described in the paper have; and
  • whether the structure of interchange fees would have appropriate incentive effects going forward.

The deadline for responses to the call for views is 5 July 2019.