Naafi Finance Cash Machine

I came across one of these things for the first time on Wed when visiting ATR Winchester. I needed some tucker and had no readies so headed to said machine. I took one look at it and thought 'this is going to cost me money'. However, having gone through the long-winded process of putting in the card and pin and waiting for the 2K6 modem to contact the mainframe to come back and 'approve' the transaction, a little message came up saying that Naafi would not charge me for the transaction (although there was a caveat that my bank might). In all fairness it did say 'free service' on the outside of the machine - but who believes that nowadays. At this point I was impressed - Naafi doing something good for the boys at last. However, what I was not impressed with was what happened next. I was told to remove my card (as you would expect). The receipt paper thing then (eventually) whirred and out came a little slip of paper. I wait and I wait and when no spondullies have appeared I take the receipt out and have a look and low and behold it tells me that £50 had been approved, but no cash had been issued!!

Naafi Finance - if you are listening - change the software in your machines - if there is no money in them, tell people up front - it wasted a lot of my time, cost you a telephone call to approve the transaction and probably cost you two BACS (or whatever system you use) costs as my bank account showed a £50 debit followed by a £50 credit once you realised you could not pay out the money!!


Thanks Hob – we actually provide these machines in partnership with CardPoint, at a cost to us. This is because we believe that HM Forces should have free access to their own money, and we invest a lot of resource into arranging this.

We plan to unveil new cash machines at Catterick, Pirbright and Colchester, and we are always working on finding new locations where they will be most useful, particularly in training camps where new recruits are confined to base and therefore have no other option.

The cash machines are fitted with software that counts money on every transaction. If there is no money in the machine, it will state this clearly and will not allow you to make a withdrawal.

The problem that you encountered last week was a “mis-dispense” which can be caused by something small like a damaged bank note that catches inside the machine. Because the machine counts its money at each transaction, it can detect when cash has failed to dispense and will normally re-credit your account automatically (though there can be some delay).

Unfortunately, this is an inconvenience, and for that we apologise – the machine is as reliable as any other, which means it’s possible for a small number of errors to occur. As you experienced on Wednesday, however, if you are unlucky enough to have a problem we can sort it out quickly and without fuss. We are glad to have feedback on our services so that we can continually improve, so if it does happen again please let us know.

Hopefully you won’t be put off using our free machines in future – they are purely for you to take advantage of, accessing your own money without charge at any time of the day.
We have been installing free cash machines for 4 years now (see news item from 2002), in areas where they are needed most. There was recently a lot of information in the press regarding machines that charge in military bases and we issued this statement at the time.

Our position on this has not changed, we are just continuing to expand on the services to benefit HM forces personnel and their families.

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