CMA and credibility
The CMA found that VocaLink and MasterCard are two of the three most credible providers of infrastructure services to the LINK ATM network.
As such, the merger would reduce the number of bidders and limit the ability of the LINK scheme to obtain good value when tendering for an infrastructure provider.
The LINK ATM network is owned by the banks and if two of the three best infrastructure providers are in cahoots, this reduces the playing field and therefore the opportunity for the banks to achieve value for money when tendering for infrastructure provision, hence the chance of cost hikes being passed on to consumers.
Over Christmas, it has emerged that a record amount of cash was withdrawn, more than the total amount withdrawn on the busiest shopping day before Christmas last year. I must say, I myself have embarked on a cash-only spend for the month of January, just for research purposes. Enough people said to me in the run-up to Christmas that they find cash far easier for budgeting and curbing expenditure that I decided to give the old goat a go again.
The most remarkable difference thus far is the increase in the number of times I’m washing my hands. Cash is dirty and unhygienic. As for budgeting, it’s harder to remember exactly what it is all spent on but I do concede that when you have a physical sum in your wallet, diminishing before your eyes, it helps in deciding whether a purchase is actually necessary or just superfluous spending.