ATM transactions are up 18% however they have yet to return to pre-Covid-19 levels.

New data from ATM network Link shows that, since lockdown restrictions have begun to ease across the UK, cash machines across Britain have been busy with transactions up 18% and an extra £650 million withdrawn since 12 April.

Link’s research found that compared to early April, an extra £200m was withdrawn from cash machines across the UK per week. Additionally, with non-essential retail beginning to reopen, 250 ATMs mostly located within sites that were closed due to lockdown are now working again.

However, ATM transactions are still only at 65% to 70% of where they were just before the start of the pandemic.

In its most recent data from April 2021, Link found that 65% of people said that they had used cash in the past two weeks, up from 53% in mid-January.

Just under half of respondents (44%) said they think that they will use less cash in the future in comparison to before the outbreak of Covid-19. 11% said they think they’ll use it more and 36% said they will use it the same.

Link’s director of strategy Graham Mott said: “This time last year, the UK was under a strict national lockdown, therefore ATM use is up considerably when compared to last April and is at a similar level to July 2020, when things were starting to reopen again.

“Overall, this confirms the ongoing importance of cash for many people and businesses. We know cash use is traditionally higher in hairdressers, pubs and restaurants. We can see that cash use in pubs is already increasing. Perhaps we will have a better picture when locations that perhaps don’t have beer gardens are able to open as well. Additionally, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are a couple of weeks behind England, so are likely to see increased activity from those parts of the UK too.”