LINK Scheme


About the scheme:

The LINK Scheme is a robust network which connects the UK’s cash machines and provides consumers with universal access to their cash.  LINK is owned and controlled by its members.

Access to cash, and by implication access to cash machines, is vital for the UK economy.  Of the payment instruments available in the UK the most significant in terms of transaction volume is cash, which is used for 52% of all payments in 2013.  88% of cash acquired by individuals is from cash machines.

Low income groups rely on cash most.  7.2 million adults still rely on cash for all their payments, including 42% of job seekers, 39% of those with a household income of less than £10k per annum, 27% of students, 21% of those looking after their home, and 21% of the self-employed.

Key services:

Access to cash (and associated services) via a network of cash machines.

What the scheme does:

  • The LINK Scheme provides the operational service and contractual certainty which connect card issuers and cash machine operators together to enable card holders to access their cash.  LINK membership consists of the UK’s main debit and cash machine card issuers (predominantly banks and building societies) and also cash machine operators (banks, building societies and independent organisations).
  • There are over 100 million LINK enabled cards in circulation and nearly all of the UK’s 69,000 cash machines are LINK enabled.  Over 50,000 of these ATMs are free-to-use (an all-time high) and approximately 97% of all cash withdrawals by UK consumers are made free of charge. 
  • LINK is not involved with cash machine withdrawal made by a card holder at their own bank or building society (about 30% of total consumer cash withdrawals).

Further information about the scheme and access criteria can be found on their website:


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