Cash Making a Comeback? Consumers Fight Back Against Cashless Fees

Sunday, May 19, 2024

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by Sandra Smith

We are continuing to see signs of a strong cash recovery. Consumers are increasingly pushing against hidden fees and surcharges associated with cashless payment methods. The RBA’s Consumer Payments Survey found consumers paid a surcharge on 7% of transactions in 2022, up from 4% in 2019. In 2022, the median surcharge per transaction was 50¢. With this backdrop, the Sydney Morning Herald recently interviewed Steve Worthington, a financial services commentator and professor at Swinburne University. In this interview, Worthington said there were signs that consumers may be fed up with surcharges, pointing to an increase in the amount of money being withdrawn from ATMs in the RBA’s February figures, stating: “This could be for a whole variety of reasons, but I would contend that we all got used to using cards during the pandemic, and we didn’t pay attention to what the transaction value was, we just tapped and went. Now I think people are taking notice of that extra fee.”

ATMIA, in close collaboration with our stakeholders, is committed to being at the forefront recovery. We will continue to work together, identifying areas for growth and improvement in the industry.

This month, we observed further progress in negotiations about the structure of cash-in-transit services in Australia. While these discussions are ongoing, and we will monitor them closely, the RBA has made a strong statement in its submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The RBA's position is clear: “The RBA places a high priority on the community continuing to have reasonable access to cash withdrawal and deposit services.” This reaffirms the RBA's unwavering commitment to payment choice and ensuring that cash remains accessible to the public. To read the complete submission, click here.

We held an informative Strategic Direction forum at the end of April. Key industry experts came together to address pertinent industry issues at the national and international levels, providing invaluable insights.

ATMIA's CEO, Lonnie Talbert, shared insight into ATMIA's sixth Washington DC Fly-in. The main discussion points included the increase in ATM Crime, the Consumer Payment Choice Act, bank closures, and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Guest Speakers

Chris Grice – CEO of the National Seniors Association, emphasised the importance of cash usage. This cohort faces many challenges in the payment system, especially with the entire cheque system being eliminated by 2023 and the continual bank closures; these changes will significantly impact their daily lives.

Chris Wilson, AFP, shared details of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) successfully capturing an international crime syndicate involved in an elaborate skimming operation targeting ATMs in Sydney. The syndicate, hailing from Romania, had installed skimmers across the city designed to collect personal data and steal millions in cash.

To access the minutes from this forum, click here.

Secure your tickets now and be a part of this exciting experience—the upcoming  Europe and Emerging Markets event in London from 8th to 10th October.

Don’t delay, and  Register NOW.

I wish you all a productive month. Feel free to contact me anytime with questions about your membership or how we can enhance it. I'm always available by phone or email.


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