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Cash machines cull gives c-store the edge

The crucial role convenience stores play in providing their local community with facilities to withdraw cash is highlighted in a new report from consumer group Which?

The report found that 2,868 branches will have closed between 2015 and the end of 2018. Scotland, the South East and the North West will be hardest hit in terms of closure numbers.

James Lowman, chief executive of the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS), said that c-stores had been taking on the services that specialist businesses closing on the high street had left behind.

“Access to cash and banking services are essential for local people and businesses, especially in rural and isolated areas, so convenience stores have played an important role in providing ATMs where banks have abandoned local areas.”

Lowman warned, however, that it was becoming harder for retailers to offer the service because of reduced payments to ATM operators and higher business rate bills.

“We are concerned about the impact that this will have on communities across the UK,” said Lowman.

LINK, the UK’s ATM network organisation that sets the rules for member ATM operators, is reducing the “interchange” fee – the amount card issuers in the network pay to each other and the independent providers when their customers withdraw cash – by 5p to 20p over the next four years.

The first phase of the reduction takes effect from July 1 2018.

The ACS is worried consumers’ access to cash will be harmed by the proposals.

The ACS’s 2017 Local Shop report shows 58% of stores in the convenience sector have a cash machine.

Cash machines at c-stores make a vital contribution to their success, especially in more rural and isolated communities. HIM research shows 76% of customers pay in cash.

To find out how you can get a cash machine installed on your premises, more information is available here.

ATM company Cashzone (www.cashzone.co.uk) says an ATM at your shop can:

  • Attract more passing trade
  • Generate higher footfall
  • Give you a competitive advantage over other local retailers
  • Increase store spend
  • Create an extra revenue stream
  • Boost customer loyalty
  • Reduce banking costs

Paypoint is another high-profile provider that has partnered tens of thousands of convenience stores with myriad services including cash machines.

Andrew Don

 

 

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