How Free ATMs protect many people from the worst sides of Cashless Societies

Nearly 60 areas have benefited from an initiative launched in 2019 by LINK, the UK’s main cash machine network. It has installed several ATMs in places where consumers previously only had the option of paying to access cash. The average installation is saving the community around it £20,000 a year in withdrawal fees. In some locations, the free ATM means locals have saved as much as £40,000 a year.

Around five million people are reliant on cash, including older people and those who are homeless. Nick Quin, head of financial inclusion at LINK, said: “These figures show the value free cash access can have in a community. 

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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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