Consumers will be able to make free cash withdrawals from tills in some convenience stores under a new trial being launched next month to help keep banknotes and coins viable.
The initiative, which starts from October 15, is being launched by cash machine network Link and in-store payment services and ATM provider PayPoint.
If successful, it could be rolled out more widely.
It is one of several initiatives taking place under the Community Access to Cash Pilots (CACP) scheme, which is looking at ways to make cash more sustainable.
Other initiatives include deposit schemes for small businesses, shared banking spaces and digital education services.
Under the Link/PayPoint initiative, customers will be able to withdraw precise amounts rather than being restricted to the denominations of notes dispensed by ATMs.
They will not need to make a purchase when making a cash withdrawal.
The Link/PayPoint initiative will initially be piloted in 15 shops across Burslem in Staffordshire in England, Hay-on-Wye in mid-Wales, Cambuslang in South Lanarkshire in Scotland and Denny in Falkirk, also in Scotland.
The CACP scheme, which is taking place more widely across the UK, is supported by the banking and finance industry.
John Howells, chief executive of, Link said: “This is a first in the UK and could prove to be an important measure for keeping cash viable.
“Assuming consumers agree this is a useful new channel, it will be important that Government and regulators create an effective regulatory framework to enable a full rollout.”
Lewis Alcraft, chief operating officer, PayPoint said: “We’re delighted to be part of the pilot scheme as we look to protect access to cash for the millions of consumers that continue to rely on it.
“Additionally, this scheme will bring even greater value and footfall to the participating PayPoint retailers.”
The CACP scheme also announced further details of what will happen in nine locations across the UK where initiatives are taking place to help improve cash access.
The pilots will operate for the first six months of the 2021 and will report back their findings in summer next year.
Natalie Ceeney, chairwoman, CACP said: “Cash remains critically important to both individuals and communities across the UK.”
Nick Read, chief executive of the Post Office said: “Everyone should have the right to use cash and be able to easily and securely access it wherever is most convenient to them.
“We are pleased to be playing a key role in these pilots and our postmasters who are taking part will be in a position to share important insights that will make a real difference as to how we continue to best meet peoples’ cash needs in future.”
John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury and City Minister said: “Cash remains important to the daily lives of millions of people across the UK, and protecting access to it is a key Government priority.”
Initiatives under the scheme include:
– Ampthill, Bedfordshire, England
The community will pilot a new free-to-use ATM, digital education services and cashback from a large number of local stores.
– Botton Village, North Yorkshire, England
This location will pilot a “disability friendly” ATM and a local shop will offer Post Office services.
– Burslem, Staffordshire, England
It will pilot a “financial hub” in a local Methodist church. Cashback without the need to make a purchase will be offered by PayPoint convenience stores.
– Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, Scotland
The community will pilot a Post Office banking hub in an empty retail outlet. Cashback without the need for a purchase will be offered by PayPoint convenience stores.
– Denny, Falkirk, Scotland
The community will pilot cashback with a purchase offered by a large number of local stores and cashback without the need for a purchase offered by PayPoint convenience stores.
– Hay-on-Wye, Wales
It will pilot longer opening hours at the Post Office, with the installation of an automated deposit taking machine for local businesses.
Cashback with a purchase will be offered by a large number of local stores and cashback without a purchase will be offered by PayPoint convenience stores.
– Lulworth, Dorset, England
There are plans for a free-to-use ATM at the Lulworth camp, an army barracks.
– Rochford, Essex, England
The community will pilot a Post Office banking hub in an empty retail venue. There are plans for a new free-to-use ATM.
– Milisle, Northern Ireland
Plans include digital education services and cashback from a large number of local stores.