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The number of cash withdrawals from Nationwide Building Society’s network of ATMs has climbed for the second year in a row, following more than a decade of declines.

Some 31.36 million cash withdrawals were made from its network of more than 1,200 ATMs last year – up from 30.21 million in 2022 – Nationwide said.

It marked the second annual increase in a row, with 2022 having seen the first rise in cash withdrawals for 13 years, according to the Society’s data.

Nationwide Building Society”>

Before 2022, cash withdrawal volumes from Nationwide ATMs had been declining. Withdrawals dipped sharply around the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The average amount of cash taken out per withdrawal from Nationwide ATMs was around £105 last year.

During the past year, the amount withdrawn at Nationwide ATMs in areas where the Society has become the last branch in town has increased by an average of 55%.

The majority of the increase in withdrawals in “last branch in town” areas over the last two years has been from non-Nationwide customers, the Society said.

It added that the rise in multi-use ATMs mean that cash withdrawals are only part of the picture.

Nearly half (45%) of transactions are for other services, from printing mini-statements and paying bills and changing Pins to paying in cash and cheques, according to its data.

Nationwide has made a commitment that, in places where it has a branch, it will continue to have a presence until at least 2026.

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Otto Benz, director of payments at Nationwide Building Society, said: “ATMs do more than just dispense cash – nearly half of transactions are from people paying money in, checking their balance or paying a household bill.

“This goes to show this is far from the end for cash and we will continue to offer our customers the ability to access their money on their terms whether that be digitally or in branch.”

Looking at cash deposits, over the past five years (2018 to 2023) Nationwide has seen a 10% increase in the number of times its ATMs are used to deposit cash into accounts with the average amount deposited rising to £277 – a 29% increase on five years ago.

UK cash access and ATM network Link recently reported that Friday December 22 was not only its busiest day for ATM withdrawals in 2023, but the biggest total it had seen for withdrawals since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Link said that around £460 million was withdrawn on Friday December 22, on what was the last working day before Christmas for some people, ahead of a four-day break consisting of two weekend days and two bank holidays.

This goes to show this is far from the end for cash

Otto Benz, Nationwide Building Society

Friday December 22 2023 was the highest total recorded by Link since February 28 2020, when a total of £471 million was withdrawn.

The Post Office also recently reported that over £62 million was withdrawn by personal customers on Friday December 22, the highest amount it had seen taken out on a single day.

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The Post Office has previously stressed that businesses, particularly in the leisure and hospitality sector, rely on its branches to deposit cash, especially in communities where bank branches have been shut down.

It has also suggested that the rising cost of living has led people to increasingly turn to cash to manage their budgets on a weekly basis and often day by day.

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