Consumers think twice before using rival banks ATMs

So as to avoid getting stung with the $2 transaction fee consumers are going out of their way to avoid using rival bank ATMs.

Since new rules have forced ATM owners to display their charges on screen research conducted by the Reserve Bank of Australia has shown that there has been a 10 per cent increase in customers using their own bank's machines.

Before the rules were implemented there was about a 60- 40 per cent split between transactions at customers own bank machines and transactions at rival machines. The proportion of consumers using their own machines has risen by more than 65 per cent and transactions at foreign machines have fallen to 35 per cent.

Until the "direct charging" rule was introduced in March, some banks were charging $2 just for checking your balance.

ATM reform succeeded

Canstar Cannex released a report which showed that the reforms had succeeded in removing previously hidden ATM fees. Cannex financial analyst Peter Arnold stated that users now know exactly when and how much they are paying for each transaction, as the fee is deducted at the time of the transaction rather than in bulk at the end of the month.

Choice spokeswoman Elise Davidson stated that it was good to see people getting the message and taking action to avoid unfair fees.

Free ATM access offers

This new system was also encouraging more financial institutions to get together to offer free ATM access to their customers. ATM network owner Cuscal and National Australia Bank joined forces to offer free ATM access to all their customers. This combined network has created the largest free ATM network of any bank and saves customers about $10 million a year in fees.

Published on September 9-th, 2009 in Credit Cards
Damon Rasheed is the CEO of Rate Detective, an Australian financial service comparison sites specialising in Life Insurance, Income Protection Insurance and home loans. Damon holds a Master's Degree in Economics from the University of Melbourne and has been involved in many start-up internet businesses.