The trial of’super ATMs’ in England has provided a new lifeline to bank customers.

The first of a planned series of “super-ATMs”, which will allow customers from multiple banks to deposit cash and withdraw money for free, has opened its doors.

Major high-street banks are collaborating to install “multibank deposit ATMs”, which could be a lifeline for small businesses and residents in areas where there have been no bank branches.

Three locations have the first machines: Atherstone, in Warwickshire; Heathfield, in East Sussex; and Swanage, in Dorset.

Cash Access UK, a group established to ensure that cash is available nationwide, has announced the addition of more than a dozen new deposit ATMs. By the end of this year, the aim is to install more than 100 ATMs across the country.

ATMs are usually located in supermarkets or other easily accessible places. For example, in Atherstone the ATM is in the local Co-op.

Customers of Bank of Scotland (and other banks) can deposit cash for free. Barclays customers, Halifax, Lloyds and NatWest customers, Royal Bank of Scotland clients, and Ulster Bank clients are also eligible. Customers of all major banks can also use the machines for cash withdrawals, balance inquiries, and pin management.

Many communities are now without essential services due to the decline in the number of bank branches. This includes the ability of small business owners and shopkeepers to deposit their earnings without closing early or having to travel miles to reach the nearest branch.

The consumer group Which? The consumer group Which? The report said that the pace of bank branch closures could leave 33 constituencies, including two in London, without any branches by the end this year.

Martin McTague is the national chair of Federation of Small Businesses. He said that cash remained an important part of payments for many small business and their customers.

He said: “The ability for customers to deposit money in a super ATM that is compatible with multiple banks could be a significant innovation. It would make a difference along with the rapid rollout of hubs of banking and maintenance of Post Office counters.”

The hubs are similar to standard branches, and have a counter run by Post Office employees where customers can make payments, withdraw cash and do other regular transactions.

The machines have been installed in partnership with ATM providers NCR Atleos & NoteMachine and are linked to the Link network.

UK Finance, the banking trade association, has stated that banks have to “make difficult decisions” about maintaining their branch offices because of changes in customer habits. More people are using mobile banking, online banking and cashless transactions.

Gareth Oakley is the CEO of Cash Access UK. He said that it was important for UK cash-dependent consumers to have access to ATMs that accept deposits.

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