Does Canada need a cap on ATM fees?
Anyone who’s visited a bar, movie theatre or general tourist spot lately knows one thing: BYOC.
That’s, “bring your own cash,” because any of the aforementioned locales will have ATMs that levy some of the nastiest bank machine fees on earth.
With duties as high as $3 per transaction in Canada (has anyone seen higher?), paying to get your cash out is a costly affair – especially when you consider many banks double that fee on the back end if you use an ATM not recognized by your financial institution.
Is this fair? No, of course not. But could getting gouged at the ATM be something consumers actually need protection from? Protection as in, government protection.
You might've heard about a new piece of legislation making headlines south of the border these days. The proposal, led by Iowa senator Tom Harkin, aims to cap automated teller machine fees at 50 cents. In the States, I guess, fees can go as high as $5 per transaction.
As any sensible legislation goes, the initiative was unfortunately dashed by the U.S. Senate just last night, temporarily suppressing any relief American consumers were hoping to achieve.
But what about here, in Canada?
Lobbying for a cap on ATM fees is nothing new within Canadian government. NDP leader Jack Layton, for example, wanted a total ban of all ATM fees as recently as 2007.
Yet while that was (and is) a lofty goal, a more reasonable proposition might be a nationwide cap on ATM charges. Considering the cost for a bank to process an ATM transaction is just 36 cents, the 50 cent benchmark set by Harkin seems like a fair target.
Opponents to an ATM fee limit argue that, with greatly reduced profit margins in the ATM biz, the chances of consumers finding a bank machine would suddenly be few and far between.
With less opportunity to rob consumers blind, ATM operators would only post bank machines in high-traffic areas to offset the lower fees – meaning anyone living in rural areas might have to drive a little further to reach an accessible ATM.
In any case, though, that seems like a fair trade-off for lower charges. Have fewer ATMs around, but pay significantly less fees.
What do you think: are ATM fees too high? Does Canada need to cap them?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: John Cash | May 20, 2021 5:12:00 AM
Yet it AMAZES me that you see lineups at these private ATMS all oer the place. Whats wrong with you people. Don't you realize your getting ripped off! Don't you plan before you go out somewhere and stop by your bank on the way. Talk about throwing your money away. Then complain about how rought they have it.
Speaking about NOT getting ripped off...and banks.....I found a mortgage broker through this company. They had me all set up in no time. They advised me to get this new type of mortgage to Canada. Wow was I impressed. When I called Home Assist Canada. I had three mortgage broker call me within the hour. Take a look at "home Assist Canada" (www.homeassistcanada.ca) now there is a business worth looking into. Its taking off in leaps and bounds and its a good honest business looking out for the homeowner! Its making sure you don't get ripprd off!
Posted by: Joe | May 20, 2021 1:11:59 PM
I agree with you John Cash, there are a lot of stupid people out there. In fact, if I owned a private ATM I would up the fees to maybe $7.00/transaction. Hey the more people use them, the more there are.
I also agree, people should get away from banks for mortgages and go with a mortgage broker. You say tonnes of money.
Posted by: lilybeth | May 20, 2021 2:26:44 PM
That would be neat. Banks have been gouging us onsumers and frying us in our own fat and what do we get from it? We're paying to get our money. Just rediculous greedy world, especially the banks and the politicians.
Posted by: brett | May 21, 2021 12:28:09 AM
I have seen atm's that charge 10%.
Posted by: Tster | May 21, 2021 12:53:14 AM
Let me guess. Speariment and Rhino.. in LAS veas... Yah they nailed my for 50 bone on a 500 withdrawl. But it was fun.
Posted by: Joel | May 21, 2021 3:45:34 AM
I've actually seen a 5$ atm fee at a strip club in Brossard (quebec)....That's on top of the 1.50$ my bank charged me for that transaction!! What a rip off
Posted by: Paul | May 21, 2021 6:03:05 AM
Considering how some of these private ATM companies are owned in part by the banks themselves this is a ripoff. Another way of gouging the consumer. We are used to that by now though aren't we?
Posted by: Brian EP | May 21, 2021 11:49:02 AM
On a continuing basis you are living in a generation mindset that is functioning by manuevering your dollars for themselves. The $1.50 CAP FEE in my opinion is fair for the convenience, beyond that is plain manipulation and rip off you do not need.
Posted by: MK | May 21, 2021 1:57:39 PM
I once took out $400 in a club in Las Vegas. Thinking that the fee would be $5 or under I quickly just hit accept. After the receipt came out I noticed that it had charged me $470 and only given me $400 cash. I had just payed a $70 service fee!!! Live and learn i guess...
Posted by: a victim of goverment and big business | May 22, 2021 3:23:42 PM
Just look at the profits the banks show. That should tell you all you need to know They are ripping us off big time, with the blessing of the goverment. I take all my money out each payday in cash, and that 1 transaction still cost me $8.50 a month in bank fees.
Posted by: kitkat | May 23, 2021 3:11:56 PM
I agree, these fee's they charge are rediculous, you're basically paying 25% on every $20. Which is absoluitely outrageous.
I never use those machines anymore. Anyone who knows what a dollar is worth should really start carrying some cash and credit cards to avoid using an ATM.
I agree there should be a cap price. Everything is becoming too expensive in North America. Ever notice the price of everything goes up multiple times a year yet wages are not keeping pace. Pretty soon we will all be broke just trying to feed and house ourselves.
Posted by: bob | May 23, 2021 3:19:37 PM
Hey John Cash please spam somewhere else.
Posted by: Scott | May 23, 2021 3:24:29 PM
Personally I try to make sure I have a hundred dollars or so on me so that I can avoid paying fees when all you are doing is spending maybe five or six bucks here and there. We all pay enough fees of one sort or another but if people would wise up a little and think about what they are doing when it comes to using there bank cards and not use them so freely then maybe the financial institutions would lower the rates to entice people to use them. Don't expect to much help from the government though as they get tax dollars from the profits the banks make off these transactions. Bottom line, use your head before you pull out that bank card for your coffee & doughnut at Tim's.
Posted by: blueboysk | May 23, 2021 3:29:09 PM
The fee's that are being charged at ATM's are outrageous and unjustified in my mind. what can we do about it! Budget and or keep track of your spending. and make one withdrawl. Banks are counting on people's indulgant and impulsive and or ignorance to make profits. It seems everyone has their hands in our pockets these days!
Posted by: Neil Bernier | May 23, 2021 4:11:55 PM
People dont even realize that most banks dont even look after thier atms , they subcontract it out thus the service charges
Posted by: M.T.Pockets | May 23, 2021 4:51:35 PM
I remember a time when a dollar put in savings actually gained interest. Nowadays you put money in, and it gets eaten away by various fees. You get an account that allows a certain number of transactions, and woe if you exceed that limit. I personally find it ridiculous that banks make great profits, and through creative bookkeeping they post losses.
Here is a sweet deal for them and other big corporations: If you predict that you will make a certain amount of money, and fail to do so, you can post it as a loss, even if you made profit.
I wish I could do the Projected Earnings scam.
Posted by: Robert Mannooch | May 23, 2021 5:22:42 PM
I agree with most of the comments posted on this topic.I think a good way to start would be to look into the banks profits as they are the ones driving the sur charge of these machines through the roof.As for the white line atms our charges are because of the back end the banks charge us
Posted by: Deanna Chainauskas | May 23, 2021 5:34:17 PM
One bar I know charges 10% of your cash withdrawal. $100 costs you $10. Now THAT'S insane.
Posted by: j macleod | May 23, 2021 5:39:35 PM
of course they should cap it....it's just a cash grab for the banks...remember when they used to PAY tellers to work for them and replaced the number of tellers with atms..and now we have to pay for their savings????
Posted by: TiredofBeingRippedOff | May 23, 2021 6:54:21 PM
$3.00 / transaction? Try $10.00-$15.00 in some bars and clubs.
These fees are ridiculous, and on top of that there are Bars, Restaurants
that have these machines and refuse to let customers pay with their debit cards.
The governments and banks are the ones pushing for a cashless society. We
as consumers should not be burden with the cost.