NOT so long ago, Spanish banks started charging for the use of cash machines and now it is possible that British banks will follow suit.
With effect from tomorrow (Sunday) the fees that banks pay to the cash machine operators is dropping from 25p to 24p and will eventually bottom out at 20p so there are basically three options open to the operators.
The first and possibly most likely is to remove the machines from areas where there is only a small usage and according to a Which report, around 300 machines are already being withdrawn from service every month.
This figure is disputed by Link which is the representative company for the shared network of these machines across the UK; although it does accept that there may be some closures, especially in rural areas where banks have also disappeared.
The second option is to charge a fee for cash withdrawals which does already happen with some machines installed in small shops but may well be extended.
The third (and least likely option) is for the suppliers to simply cover the loss of income themselves.
So next time that you are in the UK be warned that there may be fewer machines in operation and the use of them could be more expensive.