With the large-scale popularization of digital payment, especially mobile payment, cashless settlement has largely replaced the traditional cash settlement, and the number of ATMs inevitably reaches an inflection point after a long period of growth.
More than 5,000 ATMs have been withdrawn in the past 18 months – the equivalent of 10 ATMs disappearing in the UK every day, according to a new study.
According to an analysis of data from Link, Britain’s largest automated teller machine operator, by a consumer rights group, an average of 323 ATMs have been shut down in UK towns and villages in the past 18 months.
The report was designed to call on financial services providers in the UK to protect remote areas and vulnerable groups – small business owners, the elderly and those on low incomes. And proposed new rules to make it mandatory for Banks to have at least one fee-free ATM in every business district with at least 5,000 people, to ensure access to financial services for as many britons as possible. But this fact also confirms the awkward position of ATMs, and even cash transaction settlements in today’s mobile-connected society.
Earlier this year, Retail Banking Research, a UK Research firm, reported that the number of atms worldwide fell by 1 per cent in the year to the end of 2018 compared with the previous year, reversing the trend for the first time.
British society is rapidly transitioning to a cashless society
The move follows data from the UK’s institute of finance showing that the UK is one of the fastest moving towards cashless payments. In 2018, cash accounted for only 28 per cent of all transactions in the UK. By 2028, that number is projected to drop to about 10 percent.
In addition, the UK ranks third among the countries with the highest mobile payment penetration in the world, after China and Norway, according to a global market research firm. In 2018, 7.2 million people in the UK used mobile payments, or 13% of the total population.
Cashless causes ‘trouble’ for some people
There is no denying that the popularity of mobile payment has changed our life. We are abandoning our wallets. From eating, shopping, watching movies, buying vegetables in the market to flying and staying in the hotel, the most commonly used payment method in many consumption scenarios has become scanning payment.
But technology is often a double-edged sword, not everyone can enjoy the convenience of mobile payments, and even some groups have become abandoned by the cashless society.
In the UK, for example, digital payments have reached nearly 70%. This may not seem like a bad thing, but it is affecting the livelihoods of a large number of vulnerable groups, including the poor, the elderly and the homeless.
It comes after a UK study expressed concern that cashlessness is growing too fast, saying cash remains an “economic necessity” for 25 million britons, especially the 1.3 million without a bank account.
The report says cashlessness puts older people, rural populations and some poor people at risk of being excluded by businesses. Half of the respondents in the report said a cashless society caused a lot of problems, with 14 percent saying they couldnot cope with a cashless society.
The survey showed that 54% of consumers in remote parts of the UK suffered “difficulty getting money” as a result of cashless transactions, with small business owners, the elderly and some low-income earners most affected.