CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – ATMs are all around us, but nowadays, convenient access to your money could come with a steeper price tag.
Queen City News approached several people walking in Uptown Friday, asking how often they use an ATM. Here are some of their responses:
“Very rarely. Once a month, if that,” Sara Stenson said.
“Once a month, maybe twice, depending on where I am,” Lawrence Arnold Jr. said.
“Every day. Pretty much. For the most part, yeah,” Brittney Huskerson said.
Whether you are a habitual ATM user like Huskerson or rarely withdraw cash – access to your money is more expensive than ever.
“I can still go with e $2.50s but $5, and then you get taxed on top of that for using another bank, yeah,” Arnold Jr. said.
According to Bankrate, consumers pay an average of $4.73 at out-of-network ATMs, beating the 2019 record by one penny.
“You are typically paying two fees here, not just one. You are going to pay the ATM owner. You are often going to pay your own bank as well,” said Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate. “Together, you could easily cough up $5 or even $6.”
He says the main contributor to higher fees is the spending habits of those who help keep ATM networks afloat. Americans are not only using ATMs less frequently, but they are also using credit and debit cards more often.
“Banks allow their own customers to use the ATM and don’t charge them, but it’s the non-account holders that use the ATM that pay the freight,” McBride said. “So, as people use less cash, as there are fewer out-of-network ATM withdrawals, the cost of maintaining that network is now spread over fewer transactions, so that has been a big contributor to the steady escalation of ATM fees over time.”
As more consumers are expected to turn a cold shoulder to using cash, McBride expects ATM fees to slowly but surely continue increasing.
“I think over time, you will ultimately see maybe fewer ATMs or consolidated in terms of their presence because the cost of maintaining as many ATMs isn’t going to be as beneficial in the future if people aren’t using them as much,” McBride said.