Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ATM Customers to Face Charges Coming and Going

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ATM Customers to Face Charges Coming and Going

Article excerpt

Consumers across the nation could find themselves charged an

extra fee to use an automated teller machine outside of their

bank's own system because of rules that went into effect

yesterday.

"This is an April Fool's joke to the consumer," said Rep.

Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "Only it's not a trick because it's not

going to go away."

Until now, ATM users typically were charged an average 95 cents

per transaction by their own bank, if they were charged at all.

For the first time in most states, consumers may have to pay two

fees, one to their own bank and one to the owner of the bank

machine.

"This amounts to a secret double whammy on bank customers,"

said Schumer, who has proposed a bill that would require ATMs to

disclose how much they're charging and give the customer the

option of canceling the transaction.

The change is the result of decisions last year by two major ATM

systems operated by Visa International and MasterCard

International. Visa did not set a maximum fee that could be

charged, but said it expects banks to charge 25 cents to $2.50

per transaction for machines not owned by their bank.

Banks have not been slow to take advantage of the new rules.

Birmingham, Ala.-based SouthTrust Bank was ahead of today's

rule change and had been charging non-customers at its

Jacksonville offices a 50-cent fee until last fall, when it

stopped.

"We are going to $1, starting late this week," said spokesman

Paul Welsh.

Meanwhile, Jacksonville's Barnett Banks Inc. said Friday that

it would charge non-Barnett customers a $1 fee for using

Barnett's 750 ATMs to get cash.

The service is still free to Barnett customers if they use a

Barnett ATM. If they use their Barnett card at another bank's

ATM, they will be charged $1.25 by Barnett, as they have been in

the past. But there could be a charge by the bank owning the

ATM, too.

". . . It will be up to that other institution if they decide

to charge the Barnett customer," said Jerri Franz, a Barnett

spokeswoman.

Barnett also has been installing point-of-sale card readers at

check-out counters at Publix Super Markets, but there is no

charge for using them. …

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