The UK's ATM network

The ATM network is important to consumers and the economy. We know that consumers value the ability to access cash through a widely spread network of largely free-to-use (FTU) ATMs.

Our role is to ensure that the payment systems that facilitate consumers accessing cash are operated effectively and efficiently and in the interests of the evolving needs of service users.

Setting the scene

In 2016, cash was the most frequently used method of payment, representing 40% of all payments made in the UK. However, the proportion of cash payments is declining.

  • This is the third consecutive year that cash represented less than 50% of payments made. This indicates that many consumers are turning to alternative payment methods.
  • The number of cash withdrawals from ATMs fell by around 10% between 2012 and 2017, from 2.8 to 2.5 billion.  
  • In 2016, 2.7 million consumers (5% of the UK adult population) relied almost entirely on cash.
  • In June 2017, there were 70,308 ATMs in the UK. 
  • Of those, 78% were FTU and 22% were pay-to-use.
  • Overwhelmingly, the majority of cash withdrawals are carried out at free to use ATMs (98%).

While the number of withdrawals has changed little over the last decade (with roughly the same number of withdrawals in 2016 as in 2006), the ATM estate has grown by more than 50%.