Will debit card users benefit from ATM fee crackdown?

Debit card users in a number of Australian towns could be among those to benefit from a forthcoming crackdown on high ATM fees.

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission has announced that it is to strengthen its code of conduct some after shops were found to be charging ATM fees as high as $10, the Australian reported.

As part of the crackdown, shops will also be banned from demanding ATM cards and PIN codes as surety in a bid to end the exploitation of poor Aboriginal communities.

According to research by the Australian Financial Counselling and Credit Reform Association, unavoidable ATM and EFTPOS fees can account for 20 per cent of the welfare payments to indigenous customers.

Fiona Guthrie, the association's executive director, told the news provider: "Unavoidable ATM fees are trapping indigenous consumers in a cycle of poverty.

"While other Australians can avoid these fees by using their own bank's ATM or EFTPOS, there is typically only one ATM in a remote community and all of these charge fees."

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