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Charity donations scheme at ATMs
A new scheme has been launched that allows people to make charitable donations while withdrawing money from a cash machine
People will be able to make charitable donations at the same time as withdrawing money from thousands of cash machines across the UK from this summer.
Customers will be able to select an option to make a donation while checking their balance or taking out cash, although the choice and number of charities involved is up to individual ATM operators.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) cash machines and those owned by independent operator Bank Machine will be the first to put the scheme into action, with more set to follow. The initiative is being rolled out through Link, the UK cash machine network, but the initial phase includes only the 12,000 machines owned by Bank Machine and RBS.
Link has said that 100 million cards, making up almost every debit and ATM card issued by a major UK bank, will eventually be able to be used to make donations through ATMs. Customers are expected to be able to donate as little as £1 or as much as £250.
Donations will be offered as a separate menu item on the ATM screen, or as a post-transaction option, so that making a donation will not interfere with the actions of people who just want to withdraw cash.
Link said leaving the choice of charities up to ATM operators means that a "diverse range" of groups, such as local organisations and disaster appeals, can be supported.
Bank Machine said it had received strong interest from charities, with 550 applications to select from.
Ron Delnevo, managing director of Bank Machine, said: "This is the single biggest development both for charity and ATM services this millennium. It demonstrates the ability of ATMs to do more than simply deliver cash and gives the UK public the easiest method ever created to allow them to donate money to charity."
Plans to boost charitable giving were included in a Government green paper in 2010, which asked banks and ATM providers to give opinions on how donating through ATMs could work.
HSBC already allows its customers to donate to charity through its cash machines, in an initiative that has been operating since 2005. HSBC said that £341,623 was donated in 2010, despite the general squeeze on consumers' budgets.