ATM fees: a way to force people adopting cashless?

Belfast council is demanding a cap on charges at ATMs, and asking the leading financial authority if companies are profiteering with their use in deprived areas.

At this week’s full meeting of Belfast City Council (Tuesday May 4th), a motion was passed, with cross party support, to write to the Financial Conduct Authority urging it to cap the number of ATMs that charge for withdrawing cash.

The council will also ask the FCA the criteria for the location of commercial ATMs and if there is a concentration of ATMs in areas of social deprivation on the grounds they may be used more often.

The motion states: “This council notes the increase in commercial (non-bank) ATMs in convenience stores and in our high streets. The council further notes that the financial charge made against the consumer for withdrawing their own cash from their own bank account can range from 75 pence to £1.99 per withdrawal.

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The cashless society from an ethical point of view

The debate about the move towards a cashless society has been at the center of the scene for several years, now. Various angles have been taken by economists, politicians, banking institutions and sociologists. Beyond the technicalities of the debate, lies the question of freedom, of inter-citizen solidarity and of governmental responsibility. The debate cannot remain in the hands of financial specialists, it is first and foremost an ethical, political and societal issue.

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