Banks rethink on-us ATM fee collections

January 09, 2013 | 09:21
After the central bank has allowed collection of on-us ATM (automated teller machine) transaction fees starting in March, local banks are considering various collection schemes with some saying to charge lower than the maximum rate of VND1,000 per transaction while others saying ‘no’ to this fee to keep customers.

Duong Ngoc Minh, acting director of the card center of DongA Bank, said that this lender is considering applying suitable fee rates for customers. As the bank is serving a large number of enterprises paying wages via ATM accounts, it may offer low fees to its customers and will not charge workers if they make few cash withdrawals in a month.

DongA Bank has issued around six million ATM cards. The bank has yet to charge on-us ATM cash withdrawals and its fee from early March will be also lower than the maximum rate of VND1,000.

DongA Bank will consider benefits of customers and will likely reduce fees to avoid customers’ objection. DongA Bank’s card development strategy aims at convincing customers to use more services, not at collecting fees, Minh said.

Tran Anh Tuan, general director of Nam A Bank, said that its customers currently does not pay for both on-us and off-us ATM transactions. Like Nam A Bank, some banks will not pay much attention to fee collection and set up a schedule to charge low fees.

Fee rates will be decided by market rules and banks will look at each other before deciding how to collect ATM fees, Tuan said.

Director of a card center of a large commercial bank said that this lender is reviewing ATM fee collection over the past time. However, this bank will consider reducing fees or giving exemptions to those with few transactions. For example, customers will enjoy free five cash withdrawals in a month.

The State Bank of Vietnam on December 28, 2012 issued a circular under which banks will be allowed to charge ATM users for on-us transactions starting in March. Collection of this fee has been a hot topic given strong objection from cardholders, especially low-income earners such as students and workers.

SGT

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