The Post Office has signed a £2.4m deal with Link Interchange Network to extend its cash machine facilities to all 18,000 PO branches ­ including those attached to convenience stores. A spokesman for the Post Office said: "This represents a key step towards offering customers greater access to their cash free of charge across our network of 18,000 branches." The deal will help the Post Office gear up for the introduction of the universal banking system by allowing customers to continue collecting their benefits in cash at post offices after the full switch to Automated Credit Transfer in April 2003. l Post Office under fire for ATM policy ­ see page 6. {{NEWS }}