ABA Media Contacts: Sarah Grano
Last updated: September 12, 2012
ATMs provide an accessible, convenient channel for consumers to access their funds, check balances, and, recently, make deposits and other more complex transactions. The majority of consumers enjoy the benefits of ATMs for free. An August 2011 ABA survey found that 71 percent of consumers pay no bank fees – including ATM charges. Further, 82 percent pay $3 or less each month, a small price for the convenience of accessing funds twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Bills have been introduced in Congress mandating price controls on ATMs. ABA opposes such legislation, as price controls would inhibit innovation, shut down thousands of ATMs, and restrict consumer convenience. The American free marketplace should determine prices of ATMs, not the government.
Several municipalities have attempted to ban ATM access fees, but only at bank-owned machines. Ironically, this would result in more non-bank ATMs that charge everyone and fewer ATMs that offer free usage to their customers. Government price controls ultimately harm the consumer.