The curse of the ‘pay to withdraw’ ATM

The ‘pay to withdraw’ cash machine can usually be found in convenience stores, pubs, hospitals etc., and for most people it is the subject of a great deal of hatred. After all, being charged a couple of pounds just to access one’s own money is not really a pleasurable thought.

Creator of the Money Sucks website, Fergus Muirhead, stated that he would walk as far as it took in order to find a cash machine that does not charge an access fee. He explained that such fees are complete rip-offs and something that he absolutely cannot stand.

Last year an investigation carried out in Liverpool Echo discovered that charging cash machines were most commonly found in the poor areas of cities. In more affluent areas of towns such as Woolton only about 17% of cash machines charged fees. On the other hand, in poorer areas of towns such as Toxteth about 81% of ATMs charged fees to access money.

Graham Mott from Link, the company that operates the UK cash machine network, stated that for the most part cash machines that charge are in areas where they do not receive much traffic. Therefore, they do not pay off their costs very quickly. These costs include installing the machines, refilling them, and maintaining them on a regular basis.

In most cases a free to use machine is available when the landlord and banks make an agreement that the bank will pay a fee to the ATM operator for transactions. In places where ATMs do not get that much use the bank payments will end up being lower and therefore the landlord has to find a different way to make a profit from offering the ATM. Therefore, while store owners are always encourage to offer free to use ATMS, it is not always possible to do so.