There was feedback on my report in the last issue on Tasnim Aslam’s severe slump in paid-for ATM transactions when a free-to-use hole-in-the-wall Note Machine was installed opposite her Bank Machine cashpoint.

Bank Machine, she said, had given her a choice of removing it (leaving a nasty hole) or making it free to use with no commission.

Negotiate hard, says Peter Goldthorpe. His Manor Post Office trades in Manor, Sheffield, and he noticed that the deprived community he served needed a free-to-use hole-in-the-wall. He got a Bank Machine one in 2010.

He negotiated and nailed Bank Machine to £600 a quarter rental income. The company reckoned he would easily do 5,000 transactions a month. After 4,500, there would be a transaction income of 3.4p each. He achieved 6,500 from day one, sometimes more.

The rental did drop a bit when a ‘hidden clause’ revealed that when Link dropped the revenue it gave Bank Machine, the latter had the right to drop its rental by one third. Still, it’s making Peter money.

Paul, whose City News trades in London’s Holborn, has the same message for Tasnim - there’s a deal to be done. He says that his Bank Machine ATM was installed about two years ago, but didn’t do much business at first. “I contacted Bank Machine and suggested they make it free to use. They did and after a bit of negotiation I managed to get 3p per withdrawal up to 4,999 transactions per month and 5p per transaction for 5,000 withdrawals and above. This gives me £600 per quarter commission.”

When I relayed this to her, she said Bank Machine had sent out an engineer because her transactions had stopped. Must be a machine fault. Engineer took one look at the set-up over the road and twigged. Said he would email the reason to Bank Machine.

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