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Link Scheme Ltd The UK’s largest cash machine (ATM) network and the busiest transaction switch in the world.

LINK Scheme Ltd
LINK (interbank ATM network - emblem).png
Operating areaUnited Kingdom
Founded1985; 34 years ago (1985)


LINK is the UK’s largest cash machine network. It connects the UK’s cash machines and provides consumers with universal access to cash.

LINK is an interbank payment system (as defined under section 184 of the Banking Act 2009) and so falls under the regulatory supervision of The Bank of England and the Payment Systems Regulator. This is because of the crucial role that LINK plays in the UK economy. [1]

Link Scheme Ltd is a not-for-profit organisation run by an independent board. There are 35 Network Members which includes all of the UK’s main debit and ATM card issuers (Banks and Building Societies) and all the main cash machine operators, banks, building societies and Independent ATM Deployers (IADs).[2]

The LINK Scheme provides the operational service and contractual certainty which connects these card issuers and cash machine operators. The processing infrastructure (the switch) behind the LINK Scheme is currently provided by Vocalink. The ATM switch delivers an 'always-available' transaction processing infrastructure that consistently offers >99.9% network availability and switches over 3.5 billion card-initiated transactions per year. It connects financial institutions, IADs and independently of LINK, the Post Office.

Effectively all the UK’s 63,000 cash machines are LINK-enabled and as of April 2019 there were about 50,000 free to use cash machines, and over 11,500 Post Offices where most LINK cards can be used to withdraw cash over the counter without charge. LINK’s aim is to make sure that consumers can continue to conveniently access their cash for free.

There are more than 130 million LINK-enabled UK debit and ATM cards in circulation.

See alsoEdit