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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 10:22 GMT
ATM to offer downloads and games
Max Box in operation
The Max Box offers a range of digital services
A cash machine that allows consumers to download music, print photos and top up their mobile phone is being launched.

The Max Box, which has been developed by Felix Group and is distributed by Bank Machine, will also allow users to download games and mobile ring tones.

The Max Box is a free standing, broadband kiosk and is likely to be located in garage forecourts, shopping centres and convenience stores.

Bank Machine has 1,400 UK ATMs, most of which charge for withdrawing cash.

Some ATMs operated by High Street banks allow customers to top-up their mobile phones but the Max Box is believed to offer the greatest number of non-cash services.

Customers using the Max Box will be expected to pay a fee for non-cash services. However, the level of charges is not yet known.

Max Box machines will start to appear in the spring.

Controversy

Bank machine, a division of US firm Cardtronic, is one of the main operators of fee-charging ATMs in the UK.

Fee-charging cash machines have courted controversy, with charities and consumer groups arguing that they penalise the poor.

The suggestion has been that traditional free-to-use ATMs, operated by High Street banks, have been shut in some poorer areas of the UK and been replaced by fee-charging machines.

Just under half of the UK's 58,000 cash machines charge an average of 1.50 for a withdrawal.

The rate of spread of charging cash machines has been phenomenal in recent years. Six years ago there were only a handful of charging machines.




SEE ALSO
Bank pledges to install free ATMs
27 Jul 06 |  Business
Q&A: Cash machine charges
28 Jul 06 |  Business
UK 'risks' US-style bank charges
21 Mar 05 |  Business
Post Office ATMs cost users 10m
10 Feb 05 |  Business
Probe into cash machine charges
05 Nov 04 |  Business

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