It’s not always a bad thing, but talking to a few banking customers will give you a lot of insight about how they feel on the subject of ATM fees. They will tell you that paying outrageous ATM fees, for them, is sometimes annoying and even alarming. It can be quite alarming if the customer has to use an ATM at a location where they weren’t expecting to get such a high usage rate attached to their transaction. For the ATM owners, the more profits that they can charge and obtain, the better it is for their business’ bottom line. But for the customer, finding the ATM with the lowest to no ATM transaction fee is going to be the ideal situation.
Great for the Owner
Without a healthy bottom line, the ATM owner doesn’t have the financial resources he needs to provide a quality service to his customers, not to mention a much-needed convenience that some customers love. ATM fees allow owners to offer their customers the latest software updates for their transactions, a faster processor on the machine, equipment that’s in excellent condition and the peace of mind in knowing that the machine will always be able to accommodate their cash requests whenever they need it to. Not to mention also that ATM owners are furiously competing with one another on getting the bulk of the ATM business traffic, so it’s in their best interest to offer customers an attractive deal in return for their business.
Great for the Customer
For the customer, exorbitant ATM fees could mean less trips to the ATM, or, going out of their (convenient) way to find a machine that charges less that machines that are closer to them. Some customers will even go out of their way to transact with ATM machines that charge anywhere from $.50- $2.00 less than the machines that are closer to them, all to save as much money as they can. However, when the customer takes his business elsewhere, the ATM owner could possibly feel the effects of it and may feel compelled to lower their rates in order to draw that customer back.
So, who should profit more and be better accommodated? The ATM owners… or the customers?
Where Do ATM Fees Go?
As far as ATM fees go, sometimes these charges are implemented solely for the customers who are non-members. That means that if a customer doesn’t already bank with an institution or have an account with that bank, they may be charged an ATM fee in order to perform a transaction by withdrawing money or using another banking service. In other cases, relatively fewer, fees are often charged to all customers, regardless of whether or not they have an account with that particular banking institution. One of the biggest complaints that customers have of exorbitant ATM fees is that since there isn’t a human teller helping them with their transaction, there is no reason why the fees have to be so incredibly high, or at best, no reason why there has to be such frequent and periodic steep increases just to access that bank’s financial services.
One of the main reasons as to why there are ATM fees is simply to manage this service and to keep it running smoothly and conveniently for the bank or ATM owner’s customers. In fact, there is software that has to be upgraded on a routine basis, that which is often covered with fee services. The machine also has to be repaired on occasion, or at the very least, maintained for service. There is also the insurance responsibility that is required for ATM machines that owners have to take into account in case of theft, natural environmental causes or other issues. When a customer is a member of a bank, these types of maintenance fees are built into either the customer’s monthly fees or through fees to their accounts if their balances fall below a minimum balance requirement.
So while having ATM fees assessed to customers is not at all a “waste,” it helps when customers understand the need for these types of fees and why some banks charge one amount while other banks charge another. The best thing for ATM owners to do to keep a steady stream of business is to keep their fees reasonable but comparable to what their competition is charging in the market. For customers, it’s a good idea to try and be as consistent as possible with one banking institution so as to cut down on the amount of fees that they pay out, but ideally it’s best to be a member of the banking institution where they frequently use the ATM machine. This will help to ensure that their fees stay stead