ATMIA Issues Response to Misleading Statements about ATM Fees

Industry Association
(ATMIA) today issued a response to misleading
statements about ATM fees contained in a rash of recent U.S. news
articles. Political reactions to those articles, branding the fees
“exploitative” and “usurious”, were offered with little or no effort to
determine the true facts.

A survey of bank ATM fees published several weeks ago, correctly notes
that the national average bank surcharge (convenience fee) is about
$2.88. It also notes that “. . . your own bank likely will charge you a
fee that averages $1.64 for using an out-of-network ATM” – resulting in
a total fee of $4.52. Virtually all of the news coverage which followed
ignored the details and simply inferred that $4.52 was the average
surcharge imposed by ATM operators.

Both bank and independent ATM operators sometimes levy a convenience
fee, in order to recover the costs of the ATM itself, transaction fees,
maintenance, regulatory compliance, replenishing the ATM with cash, etc.
An out-of-network or “foreign bank” fee has nothing to do with the ATM
operator. It is a fee imposed by the ATM user’s bank; typically serving
as a means of discouraging the use of out-of-network ATMs.

According to research commissioned by ATMIA earlier this year, pre-tax
profit margins for independent ATM operators (IADs) are in the range of
only 6 – 7%. By any measure, this margin is a long way from being
exploitative or unfair. In fact, convenience fees for ATMs operated by
IADs, on average, are already less than for those operated by banks.
ATMs are placed into convenient locations away from the branch at a high
cost and the current business model has enabled hundreds of thousands of
these deployments to be viable in the long-run.

ATMIA encourages legislators and regulators to bear these facts in mind
when evaluating the state of the industry. It is critically important to
understand the differences between fees imposed by the consumer’s bank
and those needed by the ATM operator to continue providing convenient
access to cash.

“The current public perception about ATM fees is off the mark.
Politicians should acquaint themselves with the real facts of our
industry before making off-the-cuff and inaccurate remarks which are
easily taken out of context. There are also a host of surcharge-free
ATMs to choose from across the country as well,” commented Mike Lee, CEO.

Position Paper
on surcharging can be downloaded from the ATMIA
website. Additional information is also available from USA Executive
Director, David Tente.

About the ATM Industry Association

is a global non-profit trade association with over 5,000 members in 65
countries. Its mission is to promote ATM convenience, growth and usage
worldwide, to protect the ATM industry’s assets, interests, and public
trust; and provide education, best practices, political voice and
networking opportunities for member organizations.


David Tente, 407-833-7906
USA Executive Director