Fee free ATMs for Indigenous communities

Australians in remote Indigenous Communities will soon be able to use ATMs fee free.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued a draft on fee free ATMs in remote Indigenous communities.

The draft decision was delivered on 26 October, proposing to grant re-authorisation to provide the fee free ATM services for a period of 10 years.

A statement released by the ACCC said: “Under the arrangement, participating banks and ATM deployers provide fee-free ATM withdrawals and balance enquiries at up to 85 selected ATMs for customers of those banks. The ACCC previously authorised the arrangement in 2012 for five years, which expires in December.”

ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston said: “The arrangement co-ordinated by the Australian Bankers’ Association has resulted in significant public benefits over the past five years, which are likely to continue for the next ten years.”

According to the ACCC, people living in very remote communities often pay high levels of ATM fees due to frequent usage and lack of alternatives.

“High ATM usage and fees intensifies the financial and social disadvantage found in very remote communities. Enabling Indigenous people in these communities to have the same access to fee-free ATMs that other Australians enjoy in less remote parts of the country lessens this disadvantage,” Mr Featherston said.

The proposal also allows for additional banks and ATMs to be added to the arrangement.

The ACCC statement concluded by requesting submissions on the draft determination by 16 November 2017, with an expected release of the final determination in December 2017.

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