Australia: Big 4 banks drop ATM fees

In welcome news, the Australian Big 4 banks are all set to scrap ATM fees on their own machines. CBA was the first to abolish ATMs fees on withdrawals by non-customers at CBA-owned ATMs, with the rest of the Big 4 quick to follow.

According to data from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), more than 250 million withdrawals were recorded by non-customers at ATMs across Australia. Collectively the fees generated from these transactions amounted to $500 million, with fees averaging $2.33. Furthermore, RFi Group data shows 1 in 4 consumers currently use ATMs on a weekly basis, with most (7 in 10) using one at least once per month.

The change has been welcomed by consumers, evident by a significant increase in ATM usage, with CBA experiencing a 34 percent increase in ATM usage in the days directly following, compared to the same period 2 weeks prior.

Consumers, however, should still be wary of independently-owned ATMs, found mostly in pubs and convenience stores, whose operators have no plans to drop fees. The second biggest independent operator, Stargroup, plans to increase the fees charged at their ATMs in partly response to the anticipated fall in volume caused by the Big 4s actions.

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