Friday, April 07, 2006

Make ATM fees transparent

Today's news reports of the fees individuals pay when they utilise ATM machines. It turns out that you can be charged for cancelled transactions as well as normal ones.

This is all part of a bigger issue. When it comes down to it, ATMs are one place where you are forced to consider paying for a service while not being certain about the price. And there is no reason why this should be the case. Anyone using an ATM -- whether it is your bank or not -- should be able to put their card in the ATM and find out what it will cost them to do various types of transactions. If they don't like the price, they should be able to cancel and move on.

This would have several benefits. First, consumers would know what they are paying for and may actually be more likely to use ATMs; especially those of other banks. Second, the transparency will increase price competition on ATM fees.

If there ever was a payment system issue for the RBA and ACCC to worry about, it is surely this.

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