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ATM fees

Discussion in 'The OT' started by AntAltMike, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Nov 6, 2008 #1 of 25
    AntAltMike

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    I never bother to scrutinize my monthly bank statements because I monitor my balance daily on "the 'net" and it is always on the nose, but for some reason I looked today and was surprised by a couple of fees I was charged.

    During the month, I had my balance displayed seven times at non-Wachovia ATMs, mostly to see any indication that my most recent PayPal payments had been processed, and I was charged two dollars each for just requesting my balance.

    In addition to being charged $2 each for four non-Wachovia ATM withdrawals, I was charged $2 each for four "mini statements". At a Wachovia ATM, after selecting "Inquiry" you can choose, "last ten transactions", "last 10 payments" etc., instead of a simple balance. Even though the slip of paper that these mini-statements are printed on is the same size as the slip they would print just the balance on, they now charge $2 each time they perform this service.

    Qm I getting screwed, or are these fees now normal for the banking industry?
     
  2. Nov 6, 2008 #2 of 25
    tcusta00

    tcusta00 Active Member

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    You can usually call your bank and raise some (polite) ruckus and get these fees waived retroactively and for future transactions at your "home" ATM. I think it's absurd, personally.

    For ATMs that aren't your bank's you can't control the fees, though the machine should warn you before charging a fee for a service.
     
  3. Nov 6, 2008 #3 of 25
    Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    It's safe to assume that one will be charged a fee for any transactions and inquiries initiated through a foreign ATM terminal. There are some small banks and credit unions that have a stated policy of refunding such fees. As a former banker, I can tell you that ATMs are expensive machines to buy, install, operate and maintain. Why shouldn't we expect to pay a small 'convenience' fee for their use?
     
  4. Nov 6, 2008 #4 of 25
    tcusta00

    tcusta00 Active Member

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    I'm all for capitalism and quid pro quo, but viewing a balance usually doesn't require much effort or cost on the part of the ATM owner. People usually couple that transaction with a withdrawal as well, which triggers a fee in itself. And if the fee for viewing a balance isn't disclosed then I'm sure there's some cause for concern, if not legally then ethically.
     
  5. Nov 6, 2008 #5 of 25
    brant

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    i would assume the percentage of inquiry requests and other non-withdrawal transactions are calculated into the budget when determining atm fees. I think its safe to say that if they did not charge for non-withdrawal transactions, then getting your money out would cost you even more money.

    being a relatively young person, i've always had the luxury of using an atm. but i remember as a kid riding to the bank with my parents to withdrawal cash from their account. that didn't cost anything then, and doesn't now.
     
  6. Nov 6, 2008 #6 of 25
    dmspen

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    Because the ATMs replaced people in the bank. The salaries the banks paid exceed the cost of the ATMs over their lifetime. Thus the bank spends less to get the same service done. Part of this savings should be passed on to the consumer. Instead, we get additional fees.

    Fortunately, my credit union is in a co-op with MANY other institutions so many ATMs are no fee - including 7-11.
     
  7. Nov 6, 2008 #7 of 25
    Ken S

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    There are banks that charge nothing for ATM usage AND will even refund any ATM charge you incur from another bank. PNC has an account like that. There is no reason to pay high fees with banks. Do a little research, shop around and you can find some good deals.

    The same goes for savings. Why keep your money in a money market at .7% interest when you can move it to another bank and get 3.5%.
     
  8. Nov 6, 2008 #8 of 25
    MikeW

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    dmspen took the words right out of my keyboard. There is a significant savings by replacing bank employees with machines. Additionally, with the data now being transferred over the web, it should cost even less to operate.

    Personally, I have no use for cash. I've had a couple hundered dollars in my wallet since I returned from vacation in mid-September that I still haven't used. All of my transactions are recorded in Quicken and balanced weekly and my credit card is used for nearly every purchase (no matter how big or small). With the points from my credit card, I have a Vaio Laptop, XBox 360, 32" LCD TV, and outdoor speaker rocks that all cost me nothing. I now have saved enough points for another $1000 spending spree at Sears. All of this by using the same credit card for 5 years.
     
  9. Nov 6, 2008 #9 of 25
    djlong

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    Nick: Then how come, when ATM were starting to show up in the 1970s, were we told that ATMs were cheaper than tellers and they were passing the savings on to us?

    In fact, some banks actually tried, in the 1980s, to charge you to see a teller so as to encourage ATM usage.

    An ATM is a one-time capital expense with minimal long-term expenses. ATMs, for example, don't cost the bank health care premiums, unenmployment premiums, social security taxes, wages, etc.
     
  10. MikeW

    MikeW Hall Of Fame

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    Or sexual harrassment claims :p
     
  11. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    That would explain the nickname "Walk-over-ya" as the bank's real name.

    Joking aside, all banks do something different when it comes to ATM fees, and they tend to be listed in the fine print of the ATM/Debit card agreements (which no one reads).
     
  12. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Bank of America charges similar fees:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    You actually believed them:hurah:

    What I hate is the double dipping that goes on when you go off network. The bank that owns the ATM charges $2.00 to use their ATM, which I could kind of agree with but then your bank charges you another $2.00 for using the off network.
     
  14. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    So they maintain themselves?

    There are many costs involved in maintaining an ATM beyond the major capital expense of purchasing one (which varies based on whether it is one of those cash kiosks that one sees in gas stations or a major installation). Leasing the space, security, data connections - unless the thing is installed on the regular bank building or in a regular drive up lane it is going to cost someone.

    Then you pay the flesh and blood that services the machines. No, that's not a $8 per hour teller that runs out to the parking lot to fill and empty the machine. That is a gas guzzling armored truck often specially designed for the purpose. A special team of people that need to be taken care of. (We're probably at a point where even an ATM installed at a branch is more likely to be serviced by special people than the people at the branch. Different skills.)

    I agree that offering ATMs is profitable for banks ... but maintaining one isn't a trivial expense. For banks that made the capital investment of buying many ATMs and servicing them the best reward is people opening accounts at their bank. When the smaller bank next door uses the big bank's ATMs there should be some compensation.

    I'd prefer that the compensation go on behind the scenes ... between banks ... let the small bank pay via the clearinghouse for when their cards are used on other networks. There are fees that every bank must pay to offer ATMs. While I'm sure that some banks are greedy in charging THEIR customers for using a foreign ATM, there is a cost for the transaction. Most banks write it of as a cost of doing business ... but not all can afford to do that.
     
  15. Ken S

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    James,

    There are people that place ATMs in locations as part of a regular vending route. In one location they're filling the Coke machine and then reloading the ATM. That secure data connection? In many places it's still nothing more than a modem and phone line...some others use a cell connection.

    It ain't all that tough. Here's one place you can go to start setting up your own ATMs....there are many, many more. http://www.cuatm.com/FAQ.html. Perhaps you've mistaken that 1993 Ford F150 for a specialized armored vehicle?
     
  16. hdtvfan0001

    hdtvfan0001 Well-Known Member

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    In its simplist form...ATMs started out as a service to encourage new customers and convenience, then migrated into acceptance of the service and teller reduction cost benefits, then migrated into a revenue stream.

    ATM fees, late fees, and other "nickel and dime" costs (althought they end up amounting to alot more for some folks)...used to be a cost-offsetting charge. It now has turned into a revenue stream and profit center.

    Banks will never publically tell you this, but they love you using the ATMs like crazy (system interchange fee revenue) and bounced checks (NSF fees). In both cases, its pretty much easy money and easy profit.
     
  17. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    A good description of a "gas station" ATM ... privately owned concession stands that sell access to your money. Not exactly your typical bank owned ATM.
    Ever watch a bank ATM get serviced?

    As noted in my post, the costs vary ... but to assume every ATM is as cheap to run as a privately owned ATM isn't telling the full story.
     
  18. Dave

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    Actually I have watched ATM's being serviced. Every time it is just a regular bank employee coming out with another bank employee to fill the machine and service it. This I seen at all the local banks in the area.
     
  19. phrelin

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    All I can remember about the history of ATM's relate to a serious effort by Bank of America to (a) keep customers out of the bank, (b) get customers to have automatic payroll/social security/pension deposits, and (c) get customers to quit using checks by paying bills on the internet. As that happened branches closed and branch staff was reduced.

    It worked in our case. We have been in a branch twice in eight years, write no regular checks and maybe 8-10 special checks a year, and pay no fees. I'm happy with it. Of course, we keep as little money in Bank of America as possible, but use it because in the unusual event that we leave our home and find that we need cash, we can almost always find a Bank of America ATM for a fee-less transaction.
     
  20. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    I've also seen this when the ATM is on the bank property. But when off property it's usually been some type of armed guard service. Where I used to work it used to be a regular armoured truck but eventually they were down to an armoured van.
     

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