The future of cash and ATMs in the UK

Held on Monday, January 23, 2018.


  • Sir Mark Boleat (LINK)

  • Michael Salmony (equensWorldline)

  • Anne Lewis (Vaultex)



Since the Centre’s founding in 1993, we have looked at alternatives to cash of every kind: de Bono’s “IBM Dollar”, Natwest’s Mondex, e-commerce, “beenz”, e-money, “in-game currencies”, m-commerce, Tibado, contactless, crypto-currencies – and those are just the ones that spring to mind.

Cash hasn’t gone away: there are twice as many ATMs in the UK as there were twenty years ago, the value of notes issued by the BoE has virtually doubled in the last decade, and the UK's cash machine network is processing something like seven million transactions every day. 

That said, the future of cash doesn’t look easy. The circulation of cash is falling. Banks make better money crunching electronic payments (even if retailers still prefer cash). At the same time, the number of people on the margins of the financial system who depend on cash has been rising, not falling.

It is against that backdrop that Link, the UK’s ATM network, has proposed a 20% drop in the interchange rates that operators charge one another, offset (in theory) by incentives to keep free access to cash as wide as possible. We are delighted to welcome Sir Mark Boleat, chairman of Link and deputy chairman of the Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee, to set out the challenges of a sustainable and inclusive future for cash.

Joining us to discuss the future of cash (and its alternatives), we are pleased to welcome:

  • Michael Salmony, executive adviser at equensWorldline, and strategic adviser to the Euro Retail Payments Board, the European Payments Council, European Association of Co-operative Banks and others.
  • Anne Lewis, head of product development at Vaultex, the UK’s leading cash processor. Anne has over 20 years’ experience in the cash industry, including spells as worldwide head of ATMs at Securitas and as group operations director for Loomis UK.

If you (or a colleague) would like to join the discussion, please call the CSFI on 020 7621 1056 or email Wine, refreshments and sandwiches will be available as usual. Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hilton