A Lottery terminal revolution?

Lottery terminal

Could the UK follow in Italy’s footsteps and use lottery terminals as ATMs?

by Liz Wells

Italy is set to introduce a new access to cash solution, which will see financial platform specialist Sonect enable 35,000 lottery terminals across the country to act as ATMs.

The company’s deal with Lottomatica and BNL Bank will see lottery terminals go live with cash withdrawals later this year.

Sonect says it is confident that this technology can provide a simple solution to the access to cash crisis in the UK when the fourth UK Lottery licence begins in 2023. “It would also increase customer footfall at many community shops and make lottery retailers the public’s number one choice for withdrawing cash freely, simply and locally,” the company adds.

Swiss-based Sonect already has a track record in the UK, being the only overseas company to take part in in the Community Access to Cash pilots. As a result, Sonect’s new pilot cash scheme in Burslem and Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, has seen hundreds of residents signing up to a ‘click & collect’ cash service in just two months.

Ron Delnevo, UK Director of Sonect, said: “In the UK we’re under-utilising the potential of modern lottery terminals to provide a wide-range of services to customers of community retailers. The terminals can become a vital convenient local touchpoint for access to cash and other services the public have a right to expect on their doorsteps.

“This is far too good an opportunity to waste. With the new National Lottery licence award coming soon, now is the time to ensure that there is lottery terminal revolution when the fourth licence begins in 2023.

“Around 45,000 brand new terminals will need to be installed under the terms of the licence to be granted by the UK government. We really need to seize this technical innovation opportunity in the UK to support all the local needs of the public and the retailers who serve them and, critically, to solve the huge access to cash crisis.”

Sonect’s suggestion has been welcomed by retailers. Richard Mason, who operates a Spar store in Burslem, said: “The Sonect solution of transforming a lottery terminal into my shop’s ATM sounds ideal. It would enable me to offer customers cash free of charge, at the same time as buying their lottery tickets and picking up any other purchases they want.”

Richard said this was especially important after the closure of numerous bank branches and ATMs, making access to cash far more difficult, time-consuming and costly.

“It would be a win-win for Spar and the local community,” he added.

Tony Riaz, who runs a One Stop in Burslem, added: “This lottery terminal solution sounds like a ‘no brainer’ to me – I already know my customers would love the speed and convenience of getting some cash at the same time as their lottery tickets. A simple idea like this would be perfect for guaranteeing a free access to cash solution in the UK.”

Most UK counties ‘still reliant on cash’

Over two-thirds (67%) of all purchases in PayPoint’s network of convenience stores were made in cash over fiscal year 2020/21, new data reveals.

The new research, which looks at cash as an overall percentage of transactions in its network of 28,000 UK stores over the financial year, shows that of the 48 counties included in the study, 43 have an overall cash reliance score of more than 50%.

The research reveals the most cash-reliant counties are spread across the north of England, the West Midlands, and the devolved nations.

In addition, the data shows that 21% of people across the UK still use an ATM two to three times a week and 64% of Brits think more should be done to protect cash, rising to 67% in Scotland.

PayPoint will begin a nationwide roll out of a new Over The Counter service for those who require cash in exact denominations, following its hugely successful 2021 trial period.

Steve O’Neill, Corporate Affairs and Marketing Director, said: “We’re also making more progress on important issues like a cashback without purchase solution that will roll out this year. We trialled it in 10 stores and the results were very positive. It will help improve access to cash for customers and, importantly, it will offer retailers a commission model similar to an ATM. They’ll get paid for the service, rather than paying for it.”

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