Banks will not raise ATM fees too high for now

Automatic Teller Machine

ATM fees may not be climbing too much higher, at least for now. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

JPMorgan Chase is bringing an end to its higher ATM fee test run. Chase began a pilot program some time ago where out-of-network ATM transaction fees for non-Chase customers were raised to $4 and $5 in some areas as a test. The high fees just so happened to not be very popular with consumers.

Consumers not amused by high ATM fees

In February of this year, JPMorgan Chase announced that it was going to start testing a new fee structure for non-Chase members that used Chase ATMs. The new fees were instituted in Texas and Illinois, according to CNN. Chase maintains one of the largest ATM networks in the country, and was trying to get people to pay a little more for the convenience of using that network. So the large nationwide bank raised its fees on a trial basis to $4 in Ill., and to $5 in Texas. The Chase network comprises more than 16,000 ATMs nationwide, and there is a reasonable expectation that people should pay to use such a large network. However, people in those states were not amused.

Chase canceling program

JPMorgan Chase is canceling the higher fees. Though Chase does maintain the second largest ATM network in the nation and about 25 percent of all Chase ATMs are in those states, according to USA Today, people stopped using Chase ATMs if an ATM with lower fees or one in their network was nearby. Chase will revert to the standard $3 fee. The nationwide average fee at automatic teller machines, according to MSN, was $2.11 in January. The city that had the highest fees on average as of November was Seattle, Wash., according to the New York Times, and the city with the lowest ATM fees was Cleveland, Ohio. ATM fees have been going up, as financial reform laws have been restricting certain types of fee-assessment practices at banks.

Fewer people after loan capital

Though banks are just as willing to lend consumer loans, there are fewer people lining up to request them. The Federal Reserve has noted looser lending criteria for consumer loans such as credit cards, installment loans and other types of personal loans, but demand has been down for some time, according to the Wall Street Journal. If people don’t feel as secure in employment, they are less likely to want to go into debt. Interest earnings for major banking institutions has been declining for months, as fewer consumers are interested in going into more debt after the nightmare of the past few years.



USA Today


New York Times

Wall Street Journal