The significant attraction of a forecourt cashpoint has been spelled out in a new report, which showed that 82% of cash machine users plan their shopping behaviour around the presence of one.

Sixty per cent of customers wouldn’t come back to a forecourt if the cash machine was removed or faulty, equating to a loss of on average £11.49 per customer who said they wouldn’t return.

’The Value of Cash’ report, launched today by independent cash machine operator Cardtronics UK, and research company Populus, shows that 77% of shoppers consider a cash point on-site as an important service and demonstrates that by offering customers access to cash at the same time as purchasing petrol, operators are more likely to encourage return visits and additional spend in store.

While petrol naturally draws consumers in cars to the forecourt, a telling statistic is that 1 in 8 (13%) customers walked to their local forecourt to purchase goods and use in-store services. More than half of customers (52%) travelled a mile or less to the forecourt, highlighting the convenience role forecourts play in the wider local community, not just for those looking to purchase fuel.

Jonathan Simpson-Dent, managing director of Cardtronics Europe, said: “We’ve always been given anecdotal evidence to suggest that a cash point is able to offer forecourt managers and operators a boost to their business but now for the first time, we’ve been able to prove and quantify it. We are pleased to share this customer insight and think it could become a central aspect of the business models for forecourt operators if they are looking to expand and grow.”

Cash machines boost in-store spending with cash machine users, among all spenders, shown to have a higher average spend of £16.39 – those who didn’t use the cash machine spent on average 68p less. Vitally, this money is spent on site, with a further £6.08 on average being spent on other services. Those who withdrew money to spend in store, spent on average £13.09 on site.

For many customers, the cash point proved to be an additional pull for repeat visits, with 82% of cash machine users planning their shopping behaviour around the presence of a cashpoint. On top of this, 60% said they wouldn’t come back to the same forecourt if the cash machine was removed or faulty: equating to a loss of on average £11.49 per customer who said they wouldn’t return.

The report also shows that cash point users frequent their local petrol forecourt more than those who don’t use the cash machine, with 76% of users visiting at least once a week, compared with 67% of non-users. More than half (58%) of customers who came to the forecourt to withdraw cash or check their balance via the cash machine said this was their main reason for visiting the forecourt, over and above purchasing petrol.

Overall, usage of other in-store services at petrol forecourts tends to be planned and to this end, more than 1-in-4 (26%) customers said that the cash machine on-site at that particular forecourt was the one they always use.

Simpson-Dent continued: “It is perhaps not surprising that in an increasingly time-poor society we want to achieve more than ever when we come to a petrol forecourt. By offering a diverse range of services to their customers, petrol forecourts remain a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the local community, and cash access is a central part of that customer experience.”