The latest numbers from the RBA indicate that ATM use is continuing to decline, as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald. The proliferation of NFC (Near Field Communication) payment technology or ‘tap and go’ cards are a likely factor, and in recent times, in Sydney we’ve even seen ‘cashless’ events such as the Noodle Markets and other cashless areas such as Spice Alley in the CBD.
While people are visiting the ATM less, the last survey from the RBA indicated that ATM fees are going up. Most ATMs charge a fee within the $2-3 range, but there are some that go over this amount. I’ve also seen ATMs with a their own withdrawal limits of $200 - if you need more than this amount, you need to pay the fee twice. Using your own bank’s ATM will normally help you avoid the fees, but this isn’t always possible or fair.
However, despite the annoyance of the ATM fee, there is a cost to providing an ATM (whether you pay a direct fee or not). This cost is amplified in remote or hard to reach places, and when a big event or festival is on, businesses also use this opportunity to collect on fees (and judging by the lines for the ATM at some events, there are still plenty of people willing to pay up for access to cash).
So, considering the circumstances, how do you feel about ATM fees - are they a trap, or a necessary evil? Feel free to expand in the comments below.
- ATM fees are reasonable
- ATM fees are too expensive
We avoid the ‘commercial’ or ‘not our bank’ ATMs that charge fees as they are expensive when one can get a transaction for free using their own bank ATM.
We were able to negotiate unlimited ATM and no bank fees with Suncorp and apart from the odd hiccups, have been relatively happy with them.
Suncorp, I imagine other bank are similar, have ATM and Branch finding functions on their website (and APPs?) which allows one to see where the nearest no fee ATMs are (for us this is either Suncorp, Bendigo Bank or others that have arrangements with Suncorp). This allows one to avoid paying for the use of a non-Suncorp compatible ATM.
Alternatively, if we don’t have internet access when out, we go to either Woollies and Coles in-store customer service counters and withdraw money fee free (and without the need to buy something). This is something that many may not realise can be done to avoid paying fees.
Similar to @phb, all my cash-out needs are fufilled by supermarkets. ATM fees have never been a problem for me (except this one time I was on holiday and left my money at the house and had to get cashout for a food place with no EFTPOS).
I voted for ‘too expensive’, but must confess I’ve never used one, or found the need for them. I never get money out at the supermarket either. Just call me old fashioned. Oh, I do have a seven year old iPhone.
I have just opened an online account with M.E. Bank that has the usual fee free affiliated ATM’s but also claim they will reimburse charges from other ATM’s. I will be finding out at the end of this month if it pans out.
I haven’t used an ATM for many years, like many people I get cash-out at supermarkets in one transaction or I just use tap n go.
I find my visa debit card has low fees.
Yes ME do reimburse other bank fees, I have been with ME for several months and a couple of times I used another ATM and had the fee reimbursed automatically.
My real complaint about the whole ATM fees problem is that we have been welded to using touch and go cards for almost everything, thereby eliminating the need to carry cash, which I think is great … EXCEPT, there are still many small businesses, especially food businesses, which will not accept a card for anything under $10 or $20 dollars. This turns out to be a real pain as you then have to get cash out or make sure you have cash in your wallet. If we are going to become truly cashless then all businesses must be prepared to accept a card for any amount. I understand this may be an issue re card costs, however a number of small businesses already do it.
So if the banks are going to phase out ATMs then they need to reduce the cost of using card transactions for small businesses and ask them to accept cards for all amounts.
Actually I like cash. I take out what I’ve budgeted for once a week and if its all used up then I have to do without - or really bargain with myself. It makes me disciplined and it means I don’t leave tracks everywhere for businesses to target me on how to spend my money. It gives me peace of mind!
I took your survey regarding bank fees (which i find way too high) What annoys me is when enquiring about my balance before a withdrawal, (to ensure enough in in the account) I Am charged as much as $2.90 for this, Then the A.T.M. asks if I would Like To continue with any other services?
A request for your pin again is required to proceed even though the card has not been removed or rejected by the A.T.M. Only to be charged a further $2.90 to make a withdrawal? Making the total fees charge in what i consider a single transaction. This now has increased the total fee to withdraw some money to $5.80. A Real hit for people on a pension or low income workers.
If the card remains in the A.T.M. and a Balance is requested before continuing, should that not be classed as one service as it would be in front of a Bank teller in a Bank Branch.
Would a Bank Charge a person for each thing they do at a counter for a customer? No! so why from a Machine that dosen’t require an income.
Thanks for your query
I’m with ING direct, orange everyday card. I ditched the commonwealth finally!
NO service fees and
REIMBURSED atm fees automatically.
These 2 reasons were why I made the change.
Given $1000 is deposited into the account fortnightly
I even had a cruise ship ATM fee of $6.50 reimbursed whilst overseas.
Hi, $2 seems quite high for a local ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) transaction and don’t get me started on how much of a a rip off it is when using them overseas. I would think a percentage would be more equitable - maybe say .5% of the money drawn out ?
Also as a friendly suggestion instead of assuming everyone knows what an acronym stands for maybe include the full spelling once. I had to look up what “NFC” (Near Field Communication) stood for.
Haven’t paid any fees for a long time. I use bank non-charging ATM’s and get other monies at IGA/Coles/Woolies.
I don’t use ATM’s. When I need cash I go to Woolies/Aldi/Coles and get it when I do my shopping. No machine failures, correct amount every time and NO FEES.
Great point @weaselairbrushart, fees for an inquiry are another to add to the list of ATM frustrations.
@heath_jd I know that high ATM fees are fairly typical when travelling overseas, but is still a whopper for a single transaction in my books. Nice to hear that the transaction was reimbursed for you.
@jeoffer Thanks for the suggestion, I have updated the original post
ATMs charge fees?
Seriously, I live 5 minutes from a major shopping centre which has seven Rediteller ATMs. I pay cash for pretty well everything and withdraw bulk cash from my ATM about 3 times a month. Anything unforeseen goes on the credit card, which is paid in full every month. The only bank fees I have paid in the last five or more years were for a couple of bank cheques.
It’s not rocket science. It just depends on how much you value your money.
I did some checking last year and Bankwest Zero Platinum credit cards have no fees and charges on overseas transactions. This was the only card that I could find that did this.
We travel a couple overseas of times a year and so tried these cards for our last trip in Dec 16 - Jan 17.
We did lots of shopping and the only fees that we are charged is for our printed in the mail monthly statement.
Also good for international online shopping.
FYI. I used to travel internationally for business starting in the 1970s and thru to around 2000. None of the cards charged fees at all back then.
I live in a country town: no ATM’s (or banks…) here! The local supermarket has to act as a bank for those of us who need cash. I really object to having to pay ATM fees in rural/regional areas - it’s yet another impost for people who don’t live in the city.
I agree that it’s common sense and good manners to define TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) when first used, but think ATM is such common usage that it is unnecessary in this conversation. I loathe phrases like ‘ATM machine’ and ‘PIN number’ that suggest the user has no idea.
The term HRV was used on a bulletin board recently. I Googled it and got pics of Honda cars, so asked the poster 'What is an HRV? Heat/humidity/house/highly?Recovery/recirculating/resistant/removal/religious? Ventilation/ventilator/vestibule/virgin?
Turns out it is a NZ (New Zealand) maker of Heat Recovery and Ventilation systems. Well, it could have been a Highly Religious Virgin!
Hi, just to clarify, if you read my post again I only referred to the NFC and not ATM. I did however include the full spelling for ATM in my post to make my point. The author also emailed me and amended the original post.
I do cringe a little also when I hear people refer to “ATM machines”, as this translates to be Automatic Teller Machine Machine. Cheers.
I use Orange Everyday account with ING for cash at ATMs, and so far, the ATM owner fee, whether it is a bank operated or privately operated ATM fee is reimbursed straight away (typically a $2 or $2.50 fee). The terms and conditions require that a deposit of $1000 minimum per month is made to enable this benefit. I usually just ‘round trip’ that amount at the start of each month by transferring from another bank to ING and then transferring it back again. I have noticed recently (this year) that in many instances, money wil transfer between different financial institutions on the same day, even 'though when speaking with banks they say up to two business days for a transfer. This means the money can leave one bank, reach another bank and then be transferred back within a single business day. the only institution which seems to be slower has been ME Bank.