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Be prepared for a half-time dash for cash on Saturday

LINK, operators of the UK Cash Machine Network, expect a surge in ATM cash withdrawals at half time during Saturday’s (1 July 2006) England quarter-final game against Portugal.

During England’s previous games against Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, Sweden and Ecuador cash withdrawals increased by around 40% as fans rushed to withdraw cash before the start of the second half.

At half-time during the England ‘v’ Paraguay match (10 June 2006), there was a dramatic surge in withdrawal levels to 6,200 per minute – with over £3.5 million pounds dispensed during the interval according to LINK’s statistics. This decreased during the second half as fans concentrated on the game. Once the final whistle blew, transactions increased significantly again to 6,000 per minute - as fans celebrated a win for England.

Graham Mott, LINK spokesman said,

“If this quarter-final match is as tense as England’s previous games, fans won’t be able to tear themselves away from the action during the match and will rush to get cash during half-time.”

Mott added, “Those fans watching the game in pubs which have an ATM in the building will be at a real advantage as they won’t have to charge about looking for a machine in those few precious minutes before the game re-starts”.

ATM transaction levels - England ‘v’ Paraguay Saturday 10 June 2006



-ENDS-

Contacts:
Gug Kyriacou/Peter Fitzpatrick/Kathryn Hughes
hbl media
Tel: +44 020 7612 1830
Gug@hblmedia.com/Peter@hblmedia.com/Kathryn@hblmedia.com

Notes to Editors:

• The LINK ATM network connects all but a handful of the UK’s 58,000 cash machines.

• In the past five years the number of LINK cash machines has grown from 36,000 to over 58,000 today and of these, over 33,100 are free to use, an all-time high.

• LINK is the UK's national cash machine (ATM) interchange network and the busiest ATM transaction switch in the world. It deals with up to 225m transactions per month and at its busiest, it processes almost 1 million transactions an hour.

• There are over 130 million LINK cards in circulation from around 38 issuers.

• Around 96% of all cash withdrawals are free of charge. A further 4% of cash withdrawals are made at charging machines, usually in convenience or remote locations where it would not be economic to run a free machine.

• The value of free-of-charge LINK cash withdrawals has increased steadily year-on-year from around £3.7 billion per month in 2002 to over £7.7 billion per month today, as customers have become increasingly aware that the LINK Network means they can use for free any machine that does not display explicit warnings of charges.

• Since last summer, all machines which charge must carry three clear warnings of charges that customers who prefer not to pay should look out for, (1) on the outside of the machine, (2) on the initial screen as they approach the ATM, and (3) before they complete the transaction.