Matrix – the automated teller machine network set up by Electronic Funds Transfer Ltd in October 1983 – and the Bank of Scotland have announced that a reciprocal linking of their cash dispensing networks will go into operation from March 21. This arrangement will bring together the 650 Matrix cash machines located in branches of the Nationwide Anglia, Woolwich Equitable, Alliance & Leicester, Leeds Permanent, National & Provincial, Bristol & West and Bradford & Bingley building societies with the 304 Bank of Scotland autotellers, to create the largest UK cash machine network available to building society cardholders. It will also mean that Bank of Scotland customers – who can already use Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland cash dispensers – will have access to more automated teller machines in the UK than any other bank. From the companies’ point of view, the scheme has enormous geographical benefits: with the exception of 12 London and 11 provincial branches, Bank of Scotland’s cash dispensing activities are confined to Scotland, while 95% of Matrix cash dispensers are based in England and Wales. New shared transactions will be linked to home terminals through IBM’s Managed Network Relay centre at Warwick: joint one year development costs for the project have been put at UKP300,000. Matrix estimates that 1,300 cash dispensing units will be in operation by 1989 and claims that use of the network is growing by 15% per month, while the Bank of Scotland dispensed a total of UKP757m in 19.9m separate transactions during 1987. Keeping the things filled is a problem and the Bank ordered 11 high-note capacity NCR cash dispensers to replace existing IBM equipment in key outlets, and has been forced to abandon UKP5 notes throughout the dispensing process. The Bank of Scotland is the first bank to join the Matrix network, and proudly claims to be the only bank currently offering any kind of real-time balance updating: a customer with a cash limit of UKP100 who withdraws UKP50 will subsequently be told on a balance slip that a remaining UKP50 can be withdrawn during that particular banking day.