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Are Pay to Use ATMs going the dinosaur way ?

I always thought that with so many 'free to use' cash machines, why would any customer pay a charge to withdraw one's own money. I stopped by the services at Beaconsfield and saw two Link cash machines with a few customers. I rationalised that it must be a coincidence to have so many customers. So I observed for 10 minutes. There were always customers.

3% of ATM withdrawals in the UK are charged. Some of the Link members have done well to install cash machines in locations like pubs, event grounds, services - areas where you are 'captive' - you cant leave (or dont want to leave) but need the money.

Availability sells.

However, I do think that the days of a 'pay to use' cash machine are numbered ? The volumes have already started to trend down faster than the 'free to use' cash withdrawal volumes



Comments: (6)

John Dring
John Dring - Intel Network Services - Swindon 01 April, 2011, 10:16Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

As long as there are those queues of people, those locations will have charged cash withdrawal facilities. 

I hate the things.  Often they are deviously marked and in the routine of tapping thorugh the screens you miss the warning which comes 'after' you have entered all the credentials. 

In the UK at least, many people see the LINK branding and assume its a free ATM. 

You should never need to use a chargeable ATM since many shops, even small ones, operate the cashback system.  Buy something for a small amount and add cash onto the transaction.

What would be better would be if all Post Offices in the UK could issue cash.  Or ideed perform many other banking transactions which they seem to be prevented from offering - do the banks fear the PO high street presence still?

Chris Errington
Chris Errington - None - London 01 April, 2011, 13:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I would pay extra not to have my card declined because I am at an overseas ATM in such disreputable cities as Sydney.  Now that's when they really do have you when you are most desparate!

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 04 April, 2011, 08:56Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

When I urgently needed cash while staying at a hotel near Manchester airport, I had two choices: Use the ATM inside the hotel lobby for a GBP 1.50 surcharge or go to the closest free ATM at Altrincham, which was around GBP 6 away by taxi. Of course, I could've withdrawn cash from the free ATM in LCY or Euston before leaving London; or I should've combined my trip to the free ATM at Altrincham with other things, and so on. But, the fact was, I hadn't done any of that, so the choice of ATM was simple. 

This hotel ATM solved a pain and more than justified its cost. As long as charged ATMs continue to do so - through appropriate locations and value-added services - I think there's no chance of their going extinct. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 04 April, 2011, 14:20Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I would say location location, there has to be value in that or perhaps clearly there is value in that.

The Reserve Bank of Australia published in February an article that stated Australians spend more than $750 million a year on ATM fees alone, so Chris Errington has a point.

Nikhil Mittal
Nikhil Mittal - Wells Fargo - Charlotte 06 April, 2011, 09:38Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

How much does it cost to a bank to install an ATM at a location? my guess would be a cost comprising of 'Lease/rental + machine cost + security + AMC + VISA/gateway costs etc'.

If this cost is not recoverable by the bank for that ATM in a specified time, then the surcharge is definitely a way out.

In a country like India, where ATMs are nowhere chargeable, the reason I can only think of is simple break-even ease. Although, I dont have figures with me at the moment.

Chris Errington
Chris Errington - None - London 07 April, 2011, 13:45Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

$4.50 flat fee in Austin Texas.  Took out $200 not my planned $100 as a result.  I have been upsold by a machine.

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