More customers outsmart ATM providers by opting for EFTPOS instead

Australians are taking fewer trips to ATMs that charge fees, according to the Australian Bankers’ Association. The findings revealed a 26% fall since 2009 in customers’ using a different bank’s ATM to their own.

“This shift in behaviour has contributed to a sharp decline in the amount of bank transaction fees consumers are paying, which include ATM fees. This is now at the lowest level since 1999,” ABA Executive Director of Retail Policy, Diane Tate said.

ATM transaction fees generally range from $1.50 to around $2.50. But customers are becoming savvy at dodging these fees by simply withdrawing cash at supermarkets and other retailers instead. In fact, the Australian Bankers’ Association reported a 22% increase in the number of cash withdrawals using EFTPOS.

The ABA also reminded customers that there are other ways to avoid fees charged by banks. “Customers should check with their bank to see if they are eligible for a fee-free account or fee exemptions,” Tate said.

This includes students and people at disadvantage. If you are in this category, ABA explained it might be worth checking out possible zero transaction fee options with your bank.

RELATED: 42% bank customers never use an ATM in a typical week 

There are plenty of ways you can avoid getting hit by extra fees at ATMs. Consider these five simple tips:

1. Plan your transaction trips around your bank’s ATM network. It’s easy to avoid fees if you plan ahead. Keep a mental note of where your bank’s local ATMs are and make sure the bank you are with is withdrawal-friendly with a wide ATM network (see point 4).

2. Follow the cash withdrawal at the supermarket trend. When you’re at the supermarket checkout, get cash out with your groceries to avoid being charged extra.

3. Use your bank’s app to check your balance, not the ATM. Now that technology makes it super easy to keep up to date with your finances, you can ditch searching for an ATM on the street and grab your phone instead.

4. Switch to a bank account with a wide ATM network. If you prefer to take cash out regularly but don’t want to memorise your bank’s network, get a bank account with a wide ATM network. Or even better, find one that lets you withdraw from any ATM for free, like the ING DIRECT Orange Everyday (as long as you deposit $1,000 a month).

5. Use “tap and go”. If you have the option to pay via Paywave or Paypass, take the cashless approach if most of your transactions are on plastic anyway. That way, you’ll avoid fiddling around with cash and being hit with extra fees at ATMs.

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