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.”