ATMs very often use something called the LINK network which many banks and ATM operators (can be both) subscribe to. Monzo doesn’t and requires a direct connection to MasterCard (which most ATMs have anyway). Because the ATM doesn’t recognise the card as a LINK card, it doesn’t know whether you will be charged or not (because all LINK transactions are free to the customer) so just displays a default message.
This isn’t 100% true, due to a partnership with American Express. All Amex cards, including foreign ones, have the LINK AID. These cardholders will still be charged cash advance and, if applicable, foreign transaction fees; despite it being a LINK transaction.
As of 2016, there were about 54,000 free to use ATMs, of which 23,600 were provided by independent suppliers, and 16,000 ATMs that charge for withdrawals. In 2016 and 2017 discussions were ongoing over a new charging system between LINK members, as larger members considered the interchange fee too high.
Certainly all American Express-issued cards in the UK and the US. Not sure about partner-issued cards. Give me 10 minutes and I’ll be back to let you know if my UK MBNA-issued Amex network card has the LINK AID
Yes, my MBNA card has the LINK AID. More interesting, is unlike American Express issued cards where the application label is still American Express, the LINK AID on the MBNA-issued Amex has the application label as ‘LINK’ - so no hiding what it is.
I’m not sure if they’re debating if it should continue or not but I think they are debating the interchange fees at the moment. I thought I read that more machines flooding the network means they get less or something, could be wrong in that one though.
I think if LINK went away, those operators that just run ATMs especially the non-free one would lose their business model and cut off their nose to spite their face!
If LINK went away, the non-free ones would be the one whose business model continued successfully. It’s the free ones whose business model is potentially at risk, thus why they’re freaking out and asking the government in intervene and maintain the high interchange rates (not gonna happen… the EU has been pushing so hard to lower all interchange fees).
The reality is that ATMs are dead machines walking, as card transactions get incredibly inexpensive to process, ATMs are far more expensive, and purchase surcharges are about to be banned.