Consumers Don’t Want to Pay ATM Fees

May 10 — According to Mercator Advisory Group’s recent Insight Summary Report, “ATM and Self-Service Banking: The Importance of Surcharge-Free ATMs,” consumers are over paying ATM fees.

In 2016, 70 percent of consumer reported they do anything they can to avoid paying ATM fees, but in 2017, this number rose to 77 percent. With more and more banks and credit unions participating in surcharge-free networks, consumers are becoming increasingly aware that fees are not always a foregone conclusion. In fact, 67 percent of those surveyed reported purposefully seeking out ATMs at which they would not be charged a fee, a number that was only 57 percent in 2016.

“Given that bank branches are closing in record numbers, and cash cannot be dispensed through mobile channels alone, surcharge-free networks serve a rising need,” said Karen Augustine, senior manager of primary data services for Mercator, who helped author the report. “Surcharge-free ATM network participation is now a top criterion for consumers in selecting a bank or credit union.”

Responses for the survey were gathered from an online panel of 3,001 U.S. adults, conducted in November 2017. The report examines demographic shifts in use, changing preferences and use of self-service channels compared to traditional branch banking including use of ATMs by type and location, willingness to pay surcharges for convenience, importance of ATM characteristics in selection of a new bank, incidence and reasons for switching banks and interest and use of mobile cash access.

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