Are out-of-network ATM fees out of control? According to a new survey by Bankrate, the average ATM fee in the U.S. is $3.02 with an average out-of-network fee of $1.66 added on to it. How does this impact independent ATM operators? The lack of transparency in the billing process leaves consumers blaming them, not their own banks, for the high fees.
According to the survey, ATM fees have risen every year for the past 14 years. The increase has been significant, increasing some 36 percent since 2008, though out-of-network fees have increased 4.7 percent a year for the past 20 years. Bankrate found that among the 25 major metro areas, Detroit has the highest out-of-network total ATM fee at $5.28. As financial experts have noted, low interest rates have forced banks to turn to fees to boost their bottom lines.
However, sources in the independent ATM industry question the accuracy of Bankrate’s $1.66 average fee. When calculated by the number of total U.S. financial institutions, the $1.66 figure, they say, may be correct. But, when calculated by the number of customers, the number falls far short since many of the nation’s largest banks with the most customers charge between $2.00 and $3.00 for an out-of-network withdrawal.