The shops becoming cash machines: You’ll soon be able to get up to £50 in cashback without purchase at thousands of stores
- The service will make free cash withdrawals available in new locations
- Supermarket and pub cashback schemes require customers to buy something
- This allows shoppers to access cash in shops without needing to buy an item first
Access to cash may become easier with the help of a scheme enabling people to get money from retailer’ tills without having to buy anything.
Following a successful 12 month trial, Link, the Britain’s largest cash machine network, will roll out ‘cashback without purchase’ across the UK.
The scheme’s rollout will extend to more than 2,000 shops by end of the year, up from roughly 900 locations where it is already live.
Any store with a PayPoint terminal across the UK will be able to offer the service.
A scheme enabling people to get cash from retailers’ tills without needing to make a purchase is to be rolled out to more than 2,000 shops before the end of the year
These will primarily be made up of convenience stores such as the Co-op, Londis, Spar, Nisa and other smaller-scale retailers.
Link anticipate that thousands more locations will become available over the coming months and years.
Other existing cashback schemes offered at locations such as supermarkets or pubs require customers to pay for something before cashback can be offered.
However, this scheme means Britons will be able to withdraw cash or check balances in smaller shops without needing to buy an item in-store or pay a fee.
Shoppers using the service can choose to withdraw any amount from 1p to £50 rather than being restricted to notes dispensed by ATMs.
Shoppers will be able to find their nearest cashback without purchase location using LINK’s Cash Locator and Cash Locator App.
Many will welcome Link’s initiative at a time when the numbers of free-to-use cash machines are on the wane.
People receive about 90 per cent of their cash from ATMs, according to the Bank of England, with the rest coming from bank branches, Post Office branches, cashback and wages.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of free-to-use ATMs has declined by nine per cent from 45,000 to 41,000.
Andrew Hagger, founder and director of Moneycomms said: ‘I think it’s a great initiative and will help people get their cash without having to resort to an ATM which charges a fee – this is more important for smaller value cash transactions, where the fee can take a big percentage in relation to the sum withdrawn.
‘I don’t see it as an alternative to ATMs, but a supplement service making free cash withdrawals available in new locations.
‘As long as it remains free to use then I’m sure it will be successful, however I’d hate to see a fee introduced for this service further down the line once it becomes established – hopefully it won’t come to that.’
Cash was still used for just over a sixth of all payments in the UK in 2020, and according to research by the Bank of England, 2.1 million people continue to mainly use cash in their day-to-day lives.
The scheme was first trialed in shops across Burslem in Staffordshire, Hay-on-Wye in Wales, Cambuslang and Denny in Scotland.
During the year long trial, more than 24,800 transactions have been made with an average withdrawal size of £27.81.
Earlier this year, however, PayPoint became the first organisation to officially roll-out the service.
Tracey Graham, chair of Link consumer council said: ‘Protecting access to cash is absolutely vital for millions of people who depend on it.
‘Cashback without purchase is a convenient new way for people to withdraw notes and coins at their local retailer.
‘We are delighted to see this important service rolled out across the country and will continue to seek innovative ways to support people who rely on cash for as long as it is needed.’