Lottery terminals throughout the UK could perform a second function as ATM machines as a result of an agreement between financial platform provider Sonect and Lottomatica.
According to research conducted by The Times and Which?, over 500 bank branches have closed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst a total of 4,000 bank branches have shut down over the previous six years. The UK is now considered the fourth most cashless society in Europe according to credit card experts at money.co.uk.
Additionally, studies have suggested that only a small number of British consumers are enthusiastic about the prospect of a cashless society, leaving an unwanted gap in terms of cash accessibility.
For the betting and gaming industry alone, a UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) survey recently found that 85% of bettors expressed concerns about the increasing cashless nature of payments.
However, around 95% of the UK’s population live within one mile of a lottery terminal, prompting Sonect to believe that its technology could provide a cash access solution to UK customers who prefer to shy away from cashless payment methods.
The deal signed between Sonnet and the Italian lottery authorities could enable the firm to adapt 35,000 Lottomatica terminals to serve as ATMs, granting customers easier and convenient access to cash withdrawals.
“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,” remarked Ron Delnevo, UK Director of Sonect.
“The terminals can become a vital convenient local touch-point for access to cash and other services the public have a right to expect on their door steps.
“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 a lottery terminal revolution when the fourth licence begins in 2023.”
Sonect, which is based in Switzerland, has preivousopery operatedin the UK and was the only overseas company chosen to participate in the Community Access to Cash Pilots scheme.
The firm is hopeful that the Fourth National Lottery Licence competition, which is due to conclude in February 2022, will provide an opportunity for the terminals to be modified should a new operator be chosen.