Free cash machines vanishing from Sheffield

Whether you need cash for the bus or a much needed kebab from West Street, we all love a free cash point. But they could be a thing of the past soon, a new national report suggests.

Which? released a report today explaining how and why free cash machines are disappearing from high UK high streets.

At the start of 2019 there were 52,000 free machines in the country. In March alone, it was revealed that more than 1,250 of these free machines switched to charging a small fee.

Sheffield city centre has around 50 machines and roughly seven of these currently charge.

The UK’s largest cashpoint operators, Cardtronics and NoteMachine told Which? there could be around 15% less free cashpoints in the whole of the UK by the end of the year.

For Sheffield this would mean losing another seven free machines.

One of the main reasons for free cash machines changing is due to the problem of bank branch closures.

According to the Which? report, more than 1,000 banks have closed since early 2018, as well as their own cash machines.

Speaking to members of the public, another reason for the change is due to people using their card to make purchases instead.

Angela, from Sheffield, said she doesn’t agree with machines charging: “I don’t agree with it as its coming out of my pocket but I can understand why they are doing it for profit,”

“I don’t use cash as much as I used to but I like to have that choice. I can definitely see us becoming a cashless society.”

Simon, from Totley, said he would be unhappy with a cashless society: “I use cash all the time. I’d rather have cash to keep better control of my finances.”

Currently, the Government do not have any involvement in the way cash machines are run but a petition called ‘Freedom to pay. Our Way’ has come about calling for Government intervention.

It aims to protect cash to ensure those people in society who do not use card and online payments are not left behind.

So far 142,271 people have signed it, with an end goal of 150,000 wanted.