ATM Fees Are Getting Ridiculous!

\"atm\"As if there weren’t already enough reasons for your company to accept credit and debit cards, another important one was raised in our last blog. Commenting upon his need to withdraw cash at the CNE – after forgetting to bring along his credit card – our friend, Marcus noted that ATM fees are generally far too high. He wasn’t all that impressed that he had to pay a surcharge to retrieve his own money. But that’s the way it works, doesn’t it?

ATM fees are nothing new. Generally, the only way to avoid them is to use a machine that represents that bank that you have your account with. However, that isn’t always possible. As was the case with Marcus, sometimes the only ATMs that are available are those representing financial institutions other than your own. In such cases, a surcharge is imminent. This is especially the case with lesser-known ATM machines.

MeloTel President, John Meloche discovered this the hard way when he attempted to retrieve some money from a random ATM last weekend. The surcharge that appeared on the screen was practically unbelievable. It wasn’t your standard $1.50 or even $3.00 that is often seen. Nope, we’re talking about a surcharge of a whole other breed. To take money out from his account, the ATM John used requested a fee of a whopping $30.00!

Yes, you read that right. 30 bucks to use an ATM! After posting a picture on Facebook of the ATM’s screen in order to ward friends and colleagues away from disbelief, John gave his response to the machine’s request. “Needless to say I cancelled,” he wrote. Is there anyone out there who would pay such a fee? If such ATM surcharges aren’t enough to convince people to use their credit cards instead, we’re not sure what is.

On the Cuna Technology Council website, the obvious is stated. “Consumers are fed up with ATM fees, and this might present an opportunity for credit unions that have a substantial market advantage in this area,” reads the site, “Eight out of 10 consumers said they pay some type of ATM surcharge fee… Among those who pay a fee, 76% said they didn\’t think they should have to pay a fee or that the fee amount was too high.”

These numbers, reports the website, come at the hands of a survey by Synergistic Research. Company CEO, William McCracken reports that customers may not necessarily be opposed to paying ATM fees, but they overwhelmingly believe that the fees are too high. The site goes on to reveal some telling opinions found by the study.

Cuna Technology Council also reports that according to an Ally Bank survey, “84% of respondents do not believe it is acceptable to charge a fee for checking (an account balance)” and “77% do not think it’s acceptable to charge an ATM fee (at all).” As well, “about 53% of those polled on behalf of Ally Bank said they would rather take time to search for a free ATM than pay a fee for the closest, time-saving option.”

It would appear as if such findings adequately represent the feelings had by Canadians. Jessica Hume of The Calgary Sun reports that the NDP is proposing that ATM fees be capped at 50 cents. According to NDP consumer affairs critic Glenn Thibeault, “Canadians pay $420 million each year in these ATM fees and most of that is pure profit.” One thing is for sure. Canadians can avoid such charges by using their credit cards to pay for purchases instead.

Are you offering your customers that convenience? For more information on how you can accept plastic without paying hefty rates, call Canadian POS Corporation at 1-877-748-2884 today!

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