The $5 cash machine fee has emerged from a confidential study for the industry, obtained by News Corp. The study, by Payments Consulting Network, surveys nearly 27,000 ATMs across the country.
Independents’ ATMs are most commonly found in pubs and service stations. The $3.50 balance inquiry charge was also levied by an independent.
“ATM fees are way out of proportion to the cost of providing the service, especially charging consumers for simply checking their bank balance,” said Matt Levey, head of campaigns at consumer group Choice.
The standard fee to use the largest network of independent ATMs was increased to $2.80 from $2.50 last year. A rival operator yesterday told News Corp it plans to follow suit in a matter of months.
The scale of fees — and northward trend — are further evidence of the failure of reforms introduced by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Five years ago the RBA brought in a “direct charge” model it said would “lower the cost of ATM services”. But that hasn’t happened.
Choice, the Consumer Action Law Centre and the Australia Institute have all called for an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
A national Galaxy Research poll released last week found so-called “foreign” ATM charges are the most hated finance fee. The research was produced for ING, which has announced it will pay ATM fees imposed on its customers by cash machine operators.
In the year to the end of April, Australians paid $627 million in foreign ATM fees. A foreign ATM is any machine not operated by a consumer’s card issuer.
news.com.au 21 July 2014
Once again the so called 'authorities' slow to act to protect the consumer.
Another joke at the expense of the general populous and NOT the banking elite.