To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Joint Accountability Cash Strategy Group are planning to take on the effect of the reduction in the interchange fee on free access to cash.
Following a Call for Evidence on Cash & Digital Payments, and in recognition of changing payment trends, the Government has set up the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy (JACS) Group.
Chaired by the Treasury, this group brings together the key regulators to co-ordinate regulatory work to support nationwide cash access. The JACS Group is considering the whole end-to-end cash infrastructure, of which ATMs are a subset, and will publicly update on industry and regulatory activity in the Autumn.
Regarding ATMs specifically, as you know, the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) is closely monitoring developments in ATM provision and holding LINK to account over LINK’s commitments to preserve the broad geographic spread of the UK’s ATM network. LINK cancelled its third interchange fee reduction (the fee which funds free-to-use ATMs), due in January 2020, and put on hold its fourth reduction, due in January 2021, pending further review.
The PSR welcomed these adjustments, having stated that LINK must carefully review its decisions on interchange fees to reflect changing market conditions.