Australians are losing an average half a billion dollars every year through avoidable ATM fees by using third-party ATMs, where an average two dollars are charged for every transaction.
Instead of withdrawing money for zero fees from ATMs run by their own banks, many Australians seem to be using machines belonging to third-party providers, ignoring the fees involved.
The financial comparison site said 40 percent of all ATM transactions are being done at third party ATMs. In 2015, this has cost Australians an estimated $548 million in avoidable ATM fees. Rate city’s findings follow an analysis of the data published by Reserve Bank of Australia, reports Sky News.
“Half a billion dollars a year is an excessive amount of money to be spending on accessing our own money,” RateCity money editor Sally Tindall noted.
She said if half of these transactions had been made either at a free ATM or at a retailer’s place, Australians could have saved $274 million a year.
The RateCity survey said one in three Australians is still paying ATM fees, with women and young adults showing the penchant to forego the extra fee for the sake of convenience.
The RBA report has revealed that direct ATM charges have been increasing in real terms since 2009. However, it noted that the amount spent on ATM fees has been falling steadily. This is because a decline in demand for ATM services is on, with consumers moving towards electronic payments than cash. In 2008, Australians paid $815m in ATM fees, the RBA data said.
Meanwhile, a report reflected on the reach of ATMs as they are nearing the 50th birthday. The wide reach of ATMs has surpassed all geographical constraints. It is everywhere, ranging from Antarctica to the Australian desert, reports Finextra.
Invented by John Shepherd-Barron, the ATM made its debut in 1967 at Barclays’ branch in Enfield. Today, more than three million ATM machines are operating around the world and include the machines operating in far-flung locations.
According to the ATM Industry Association, a bunch of Wells Fargo machines are working inside the McMurdo Station near the South Pole. There is a lone ATM serving the Tjuntuntjara Aboriginal Community in the Australian outback. That place is 1,150 kilometres away from Perth and out of reach for mobile services. It is being run with the help of satellite communications, where an average 500 withdrawals are taking place every month.