ATM transactions in the UK have plunged since the coronavirus pandemic started, with consumers steering clear of cash in order to minimise transmission of the virus.
Transactions at PayPoint (PAY.L) cash machines fell by almost 40% in the first two weeks of April and were down by more than 33% in the four weeks between 18 April and 17 May.
In the three weeks following the UK-wide lockdown, which began on 24 March, PayPoint said its machines registered around 21 million transactions, a 60% reduction on the same period in 2019.
The firm operates a network of tens of thousands of ATM machines across the country.
“Whilst it is still too early to have visibility on the longer-term consequences that will ensue following COVID-19, the impact of consumers avoiding cash and remaining at home has significantly reduced ATM transactions,” PayPoint said on Thursday.
The sharp fall-off in ATM transactions comes as card payments climbed by as much as 75%, PayPoint said, adding that it was likely that consumer habits would “fundamentally change” due to the pandemic.
Noting that the coronavirus crisis had a “limited” impact on its full-year financial results, PayPoint said pre-tax profits climbed 3.8% to £56.8m in the 12 months to the end of March.
Revenue rose by 0.8% to £213.3m in the period.
“The past year has been a resilient one for PayPoint. We delivered growth in net revenues and profit before tax for the year,” said chief executive Nick Wiles.
PayPoint is hoping to continue to provide “vital services to local communities” during the period of increased uncertainty.
“We took swift action across our business in response to the unfolding crisis,” it said.
“Our priority through this crisis is to keep our people safe and well, while providing the necessary support to our clients and retailer partner network, as we continue to serve some of the most vulnerable in our communities.”