The end of ATM fees

Bank customers were the big winners this month with the removal of ATM fees.

In late September, Commonwealth Bank announced that it was abolishing ATM fees for customers of other banks who use their ATMs. This move was welcomed by consumers and Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison, and saw NAB, ANZ and Westpac and some non-major banks follow suit shortly after.

CBA introduced the change on its network of more than 3,000 machines immediately, while other banks rolled out the changes on their ATMs.

Reserve Bank of Australia data shows Australians made more than 250 million ATM withdrawals from banks other than their own last year. While there is no precise figure on the cost to banks, it is estimated to be around $140 million in fees that banks will forgo.

Bank customers are embracing the change, with CBA seeing a 34 per cent increase in use of their ATMs Australia-wide on the days after their announcement, compared with the same days two weeks prior.

It is important for customers to note that non-bank ATMs will still charge a fee. There are almost 33,000 ATMs in Australia, 40% of which are bank-owned. The remaining ATMs are operated by other financial institutions such as credit unions, building societies and ATM deployers.

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