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No more ATM fees?


POSTED: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 6:28pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 7:44pm

     TYLER-The dreaded ATM transaction fees may come to an end if an amendment to the financial reform bill passes. The bill would put a cap on how much banks can charge you for making the transaction. And it's a lot less that what your being charged now.

     It's no surprise that banks make a tidy profit off ATM fees, which can range anywhere from a $1 to $7. But a proposed amendment to the financial reform bill would put an end to that by capping fees at 50 cents per transaction.

     Banks charging you what they deem fair to withdrawn your money. At least that's what Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) said and that's why he is introducing a bill that would hopefully put a cap on these fees.

     "That fee needs to relay to what it actually costs to process the transaction, not just the maximum they think they can get away with," Senator Harkin said.

     According to a survey put out by the watchdog group, Thrift Supervision, the cost of processing a transaction today is 36 cents. Yes just 36 cents.

     To stop this, the amendment would let banks set up a reasonable charge based upon what they costs are. But Congress would put an upper limit of no more than 50 cents a transaction.

     But President of Southside Bank, Sam Dawson, says he fears his legislation would take its toll on the healthy East Texas banks who have not had any problems in the past. Southside along with several other local banks say they they don't charge there customers a penny for using any of the banks ATM machines around town.

     But if your not a customer, now that's a different story.

     "We charge them $2.59," Mr. Dawson said. "We post that and they can't do the transaction until they agree, so it's a real transparent issue."

     Mr. Dawson says its only fair because the banks had to spend the money to put the ATM out there.

     "If other people that don't bank with us want to use that facility, then they get to help pay for it," Dawson said.

     Though this may be good news for consumers, ATM companies say they'll go out of business and banks may close less-profitable ATMs, which would make it harder to get fast cash.

     But Senator Harkin says this is one of the only ways to ensure consumers are no longer victimized by unfair fees.

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I really do not understand this reining in the banks. You can always do your transactions during banking hours. There is a price for convenience if you are willing to pay for it just as any other convenience such as fast food, ready to eat meals from your grocers etc. You are only a victim if you choose to be Senator.

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