MasterCard rule change allows Cirrus to drop ATM surcharge fees

MasterCard rule change allows Cirrus to drop ATM surcharge fees

MasterCard has changed its membership rules to allow for the removal of surcharge fees on cash withdrawals from Cirrus-branded ATMs across the US.

The rule change allows the formation of the first US surcharge-free ATM alliance (SFA), enabling Cirrus card issuers and ATM acquirer financial institutions to waive access fees for transactions.

MasterCard says SFAs are attractive to financial institutions as a means to expand demand deposit account (DDA) accessibility for debit cardholders beyond the localised boundaries of a singular proprietary ATM network.

Richard Lyons, senior VP, deposit access group, North America, MasterCard International, adds: "With over 350,000 ATM locations in the Cirrus/MasterCard network in the US, an SFA has the potential to exponentially increase a member institution's network of ATM terminals."

The move is the latest in a series of debit programme enhancements from MasterCard, including Maestro stand-in processing for PIN-based POS transactions which aims to increase overall card approval rates by reducing declines due to non-response from issuer host systems.

In addition, MasterCard Direct-Connect allows Maestro acquirers to designate non-member entities such as merchants to connect directly to the MasterCard Debit Switch (MDS). Also, issuers and acquirers can now specify Maestro and Cirrus as their network of choice for transaction routing and gain wider access to MasterCard's debit transaction processing technology.

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