People will be able to donate money to charities including Cancer Research UK, Barnardo's and Age UK at the same time as withdrawing cash at thousands of ATMs from this week.

More than 8,000 cash machines across the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) group network have been enabled to accept donations of between £1 and £150 to eight charities.

The scheme has gone live on RBS machines and will be rolled out by NatWest, Ulster Bank and Coutts, which are also part of the same banking group.

The other charities to benefit are Children in Need, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Appeal which helps finance relief for people affected by major disasters in poorer countries, Oxfam's Emergency Work and the RSPCA at NatWest ATMs.

RBS cash machines will also allow donations to the STV Appeal, which helps children and young people in Scotland who are affected by poverty.

RBS said that if just 1% of the withdrawals it processes include a £1 donation, this would raise £6.5 million a year, although it could not give a precise figure for how much it expects will be raised.

Tesco Bank also said that people can donate to its chosen charities at ATMs located at more than 2,200 stores across the UK. People do not need to be RBS or Tesco Bank customers to use their machines to donate money, the banks said.

The moves are the first phase of a wider Government drive to boost charitable giving, which is being rolled out through Link, the UK cash machine network.

One hundred million cards, making up almost every debit and ATM card issued by a major UK bank, will eventually be able to be used to make donations through ATMs.

Those using the Tesco machines can give £1 to £300 in one transaction to a choice of seven charities - Action for Children, Barnardo's, Teenage Cancer Trust, Together for Short Lives, Save the Children, Cancer Research UK and the DEC Appeal.