Definitions

ATM fee

ATM usage fees

ATM usage fees are the fees many banks and interbank networks charge for the use of their Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). In some cases, these fees are assessed solely for non-members of the bank; in other cases, they apply to all users. Many people oppose these fees because ATMs are actually less costly for banks than withdrawals from human tellers.

Two types of consumer charges exist: the surcharge and the foreign fee. The surcharge fee may be imposed by the ATM owner (the deployer or Independent sales organization) and will be charged to the consumer using the machine. The foreign fee or transaction fee is a fee charged by the card issuer (financial institution, stored value provider) to the consumer for conducting a transaction outside of their network of machines in the case of a financial institution.

Australia

Surcharge fees are yet to be introduced in Australia, almost all banks charge a $2 "Other Bank ATM" fee for withdrawals and balance inquiries to recover the domestic interbank interchange fee . Westpac started charging $2 australian dollars for using other bank's ATMs in 2006, most other banks have followed with increases of their own to match. A way of getting around this fee is to bank with smaller institutions that market fee free accounts, such as Citibank or Suncorp, who offer fee free access to any ATM if the customer lives outside of Queensland.

The Reserve Bank of Australia indicated a desire to see interchange fees and other bank ATM fees removed and replaced by a direct charge, or surcharge, at the ATM . The introduction of direct charging in early 2009 is, according to a study by consultants Edgar Dunn & Company , expected to cause major structural changes in Australia, significantly affecting the ATM-revenue model and competitive environment, providing new opportunities for non-bank independent deployers to build ATM networks, earning revenue from the direct charge.

Bangladesh

There are multiple ATM networks in Bangladesh. The market leader, Dutch-Bangla Bank has the largest ATM network and it is also the network with the most member banks. Dutch-Bangla Bank customers are not charged for ATM transactions.

Dutch-Bangla Bank has separate agreements with local and international banks where Dutch-Bangla Bank charges BDT 10 (USD $ 0.14) per transaction to member banks. Due to this low amount, member banks often add an extra amount as a profit margin.

Canada

A short description of the fee structure one experiences while using Canadian ATMs can be found at the Interac website.

Before the presence of White Label ATMs, most Canadian customers were only charged the standard Interac Network Transaction Fee when a customer was using an ATM not provided by the bank that held their account (historically $0.75 CAD, now $1.50 CAD). As the Interac network was opened up to more Independent sales organizations ("ISO")s and the potential for additional revenue from Service Fees were made available, most banks elected to impose the Service Fee in addition to the revenue that was generated from the Interac fee.

Neutral Consumer Information

The Government of Canada maintains a chart of the fees typically charged for use of ATMs in Canada. The chart is part of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada's Cost of Banking Guide.

European Union

Rules are being introduced that will force banks to levy equal fees for customers of all banks in the European Union. This may mean national fees become higher. See Single Euro Payments Area.

These rules apply since 2002-07-01. Eurozone and Swedish customers are exempt from getting lower international fees outside Eurozone countries, because only fees for euro withdrawals are regulated. Non-Eurozone customers (except Swedish customers) are completely exempt from getting lower international fees, because the regulation only states that international euro withdrawals should be available at the same price as national euro withdrawals (and euro withdrawals are very uncommon in non-Eurozone customers' home countries).

Austria

Cash withdrawals are free for any owner of an Austrian Maestro card.

Germany

German banks charge fees for withdrawals at another bank's ATM. Usual fees are 4-5 EUR. Most banks are part of interbank networks like Cash Group that reunites five major German banks or Cash Pool. Within one of these networks, customers can withdraw free of charge. Cash groups provides around 7.000 ATMs, Cash pool around 2.500. These networks have afilliates mostly in the cities but are rarely found in rural areas. The credit unions ("Volksbanken" and "Raiffeisenbanken") provide around 18.000 ATMs, very often in smaller towns and villages, but less frequently available in the big cities. The most extensive network of bank affiliates and of ATMs belongs to the savings and loans associations ("Sparkassen") with 24.600 ATMS in Germany.

Netherlands

ATM withdrawals in the Netherlands are free. But you can only draw cash at another bank's ATM once a day, and there is a lower limit.

Spain

Banks that are not associated with the user's bank will usually charge a fee of €0.50 per withdrawal of cash from the machine. Other services such as top-up of mobile phones are usually free.

United Kingdom

Public reaction to proposed increases in fees was so strong in 1999 after a campaign launched by Nationwide Building Society and the UK tabloid newspapers that fees were removed altogether for using ATMs at banks, regardless of whether the user is a customer of that bank. However, each time a bank's customer uses a rival bank's ATM, the customer's bank has to pay a fee to the rival bank, which the customer's bank absorbs.

There are a growing number of machines in locations such as garages, nightclubs and other venues which do charge transaction fees. The fee charged in 2005 was usually between £1.00 and £1.50, but occasionally they have been known to charge up to £5 and £10.. Many other machines do not charge at all (e.g. cash machines owned & Operated By Abbey National). There has been some debate in recent years about the location of machines which charge in deprived areas, where the larger banks which would have provided free ATMs have closed branches. Rules surrounding the requirement of ATMs to display any fees incurred by the consumer were clarified in 2005.

Hong Kong

There are two systems of ATMs in Hong Kong only, JETCO (Bank of China (Hong Kong), Standard Chartered, Citibank, Bank of East Asia... etc..) and ETC (HSBC and Hang Seng Bank only). ATM cards are only accepted within their own system, thus you cannot use JETCO card in ETC machines or vice versa. All ATM uses are free of charge.

Switzerland

The usual fee for a withdrawal at a "foreign" bank's ATM is CHF 2. All Swiss banks hand out Maestro cards to their customers, so that any ATM can be used.

United States

Before surcharging was allowed in 1996, foreign ATM fees averaged $1.01 USD nationally, according to a 2001 report from the US-based State Public Interest Research Group.

As banks and third parties realized the profit potential they raised the fees. ATM fees now commonly reach $2.00 (2003), and can be as high as $6.00, or even higher in cash-intensive places like bars and casinos. In cases where fees are paid both to the bank (for using a "foreign" ATM) and the ATM owner (the so-called "surcharge") total withdrawal fees could potentially reach $11. Independent sales organizations ("ISO"s) are the driving force in ATM deployment in the U.S. today representing over 60% of the 396,000 ATMs nationwide. Some have expressed concerns that the U.S. market is becoming too saturated, spreading the resulting fee pool too thin, which may result in a future net decrease in the number of machines. Other media reports indicate that growth in ATM usage has decreased, possibly in relation to the amount of fees imposed by banks.

Only some fees charged by ATMs are advertised at the point of transaction. This is more of a cautionary statement, as ATMs are required by law to inform you of the surcharge fees that the machine will charge you. This information may come in the push through menu or it may be on a sticker on the machine. However, the ATM card holder's own bank may charge a "foreign ATM network" fee to the card holder for using an ATM that is not owned and operated by the card holder's own bank. Since this charge is not assessed by the machine or the owner of the machine, it is usually not advertised at the time and place of the transaction. Thus, it becomes the responsibility of the card holder to be aware of the details of their own bank's fee structure, which may also vary from state to state, to determine the total cost of an ATM transaction. In addition, the "foreign ATM network" fee may be different if using an ATM outside the U.S. versus inside the U.S.

A new charge that has come into the marketplace is the "Denial Fee", where a customer is charged a fee for attempting to withdraw more money than they are either allowed through their daily withdrawal limit or by having insufficient funds in their account.

While many consumers are faced with multiple fees as described above, a number of standalone and internet banks, such as USAA and E-Trade Bank, Ebank and M&I Bank among others, not only do not charge their customers for using another ATM but they also provide reimbursement, worldwide, of another ATM's fee. Thus, customers at some banks in the US can avoid ATM fees altogether. Another popular way to avoid paying ATM fees is to make a "cash back" purchase at a retail store: many retailers will allow a customer who is paying with a debit card to withdraw more than the total due the retailer and get back the difference in cash.

South Asia

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka usually charge a fee of LKR 50.00 (US$ 0.5) per non user's bank withdrawal of cash from the machine.

See also

References

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