This is Hobson’s choice as far as Michael Singh is concerned. Michael runs Coatsworth News in Gateshead and has an ATM through PayPoint. He says at first the ATM wasn’t free to use and that didn’t work, so it was switched to free to use. But he says that isn’t working either. Some weeks he is lucky to get double-figure transactions. He can’t make the targets and when he adds it all up he says he is making a loss of between £200-£300 a month.

His rep just tells him that he is in a contract. Obviously, the loss would add up to thousands over the next few years.

I asked PayPoint how it stacked up against penalties for leaving early. Group marketing director Steve O’Neill replied: “Looks like there have been issues for a while now with the retailer not being able to fill the ATM adequately. We’ve tried to help by switching to free to use and removing the fees while he was getting up and running with this. Having his terminal removed due to debt issues won’t have helped with his ability to fill it. There is also outstanding debt on the ATM itself.”

And he concludes: “Current balance of contract would be £4,700 with a removal fee of £500.”

The penalties are high, but to continue with the machine sounds like it could add up to much worse.