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US Banks Charging Customers High Fees For ATM Transactions

A new report from Bankrate.com shows that U.S banks have raised ATM transaction fees for the last eleven consecutive years for customers who use out-of-network ATM machines. Banks have increased their charges by more than fifty percent during the last ten years and the survey estimates that customers pay more than $4.50 for each transaction.

Countries across the world have focused in recent years from moving away from a cash based economy to a cashless economy and as a result, ATM machines are not being used as frequent as before. However banks are still required to maintain their ATM networks and pay the maintenance fees.

Since there is a significant drop in the number of customers using ATM’s these days, banks have been forced to raise their ATM fees and have the smaller segment of ATM users absorb these costs.

In a statement, Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com said

It keeps getting easier to avoid the fees, and people are transitioning away from cash. With fewer people making out-of-network ATM withdrawals, the cost of maintaining that network is being spread over fewer transactions

The Bankrate.com report studied 10 major banks in the top 25 metro areas to ascertain the level of ATM fees being charged; which areas paid the highest and which areas paid the lowest. The results showed that people in Pittsburgh were paying the highest which was around $5.19 while people in Dallas were being charged the lowest which was around $4.07. The average ATM fee for an out-of- network customer in 2007 was $3.03 which has now risen to $4.69 in 2017.

McBride stated that while banks have continued to increase ATM fees, customers did not need to subject themselves to those fees and could avoid them by planning ahead. He went on to say that being charged $5 for a $50 withdrawal which was necessary due to an emergency was not that big of an issue. High ATM fees became a problem only when individuals were not able to plan their withdrawals due to poor spending habits and ended up paying a lot more money to the banks which could have been avoided.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered banks in 2013 to start displaying their ATM charges either on the withdrawal slip or the screen of the ATM’s. The report also showed that overdraft fees have also increased from $33.04 in 2016 to $33.38 in 2017.

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