Supermarkets 'are becoming the new ATMs'

A growing number of supermarkets are allowing shoppers to dodge ATM fees by offering in-store cash withdrawal facilities.

Stores now offering the service include Woolworths, Coles, Big W and Kmart – and shoppers do not even have to buy anything to get their cash, the Herald Sun reported.

Woolworths said customers can now withdraw cash without making a purchase at staffed and self-serve checkouts.

Meanwhile, Coles announced that its customers are withdrawing about $3.5 billion a year at checkouts. It said "cash out" transactions had risen by 15 per cent since 2007.

According to the Herald Sun, one in three Eftpos transactions at supermarkets now involves customers taking out extra money from their bank accounts – news which may interest Aussies who decide to compare debit cards and credit cards in search of the best deals for their money.

At present, Australians who use ATMs that are not owned by their financial institution are hit with fees of up to $2 per transaction.

The Sunday Telegraph recently reported that since the Reserve Bank introduced regulations last year to force banks, building societies and credit unions to display their ATM fees on screen, customers made six million fewer transactions at "foreign" ATMs in January this year compared to January 2009.

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