Personal Finances
30th April 2013

West Belfast Consumers Get Free-To-Use Cash Machine

Consumers in West Belfast can now access their cash free of charge as a result of joint work by the Consumer Council, LINK and PayPoint.

Converting an existing cash machine in Conlon’s Mount Alverno Service Station, from fee-charging to free-to-use, PayPoint’s move will allow residents in five adjacent areas within Upper Springfield and Whiterock, free access to their money for the first time.  

Welcoming the conversion, Consumer Council Chief Executive, Antoinette McKeown said: “This is part of an ongoing campaign by the Consumer Council and LINK to ensure everyone in Northern Ireland has access to a free-to-use cash machine.  Since the programme began in 2006, we have seen 55 cash machines installed in areas of lower income, and of the identified 71 target areas, only five now remain.  In practical terms, it means people do not have to pay up to £2 each time they withdraw £10, which soon adds up.

“The Consumer Council will continue to work with LINK, PayPoint and other cash machine operators, as well as local consumers and their political representatives, to target other areas which do not have a free-to-use cash machine.  We would also like to hear from local community leaders and businesses who could help to identify appropriate sites. They can contact the Consumer Council on 0800 121 6022 or go to LINK’s website and complete a Suggest a Site form.”

Consumers can also check where the nearest free-to-use cash machine is via LINK’s ‘ATM locator’ facility on its website. 

John Howells, LINK CEO added:  “This is great news for access to cash in West Belfast.  We have been working with the Consumer Council, MLAs and LINK Members to get a free-to-use ATM into this area for a long time and I am sure it will be a huge and popular facility for the local community.” 

Seamus Smith, Managing Director of PayPoint, added: “PayPoint is committed to helping retailers meet the needs of their customers and local communities.  We strive to bring social benefits to local communities, whether through our payments terminals or by providing cash machines that benefit local residents in, what is for many, a tough economic time.  We are delighted to have been able to convert this machine as part of our wider corporate responsibility and ambition to improve financial inclusion, which, in this case, we have achieved by ensuring that West Belfast’s residents have free, quick and easy access to their cash.”