(OT?) ATMs refuse cash to non-customers

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Just heard on the radio. Not Y2K related exactly, as it is a protest over Santa Monica's ban on extra bank fees,

... but... it sure is a convenient time and excuse to cut down cash withdrawals:

California Banks Strike Back Over ATM Fee Bans

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Two major California banks struck back Wednesday over local bans on extra ATM fees, announcing they would bar non-customers from using their cash machines in Santa Monica, the first city to enforce fee bans.

Bank of America and Wells Fargo said they were phasing out ATM cash distribution to non-customers in Santa Monica and would probably do the same in San Francisco if a ban there goes into effect in December.

The action came in response to a landslide vote in San Francisco this month and a decision by the Santa Monica City Council to prohibit the bank practice of charging non-customers for using their ATMs.

The banks have already challenged the measures in court. But Wednesday's announcement showed they were willing to play hardball with the public as well....(more)

-- Linda (lwmb@psln.com), November 11, 1999


I have to go with the banks on this one. We lived without those ATM's for a long time. They are a convenience provided by the banks. If you don't like the fee, go inside and get cash. It's quite simple.

-- (yuppie@home.com), November 11, 1999.

You know, these f*cking greeding bastards are cutting their nose to spite their face. People will just adjust and turn to their own banks ATM cards or use their debit cards for more transactions.

These backs are slitting the throat of the goose laying golden eggs. I saw screw 'em. They've bled people for fees on their own money long enough.

People will adjust. They always do.

-- Lara (nprbuff@hotmail.com), November 11, 1999.

When were banks *not* only "willing", but *eager* to "play hardball with the public"?

-- Ron Schwarz (rs@clubvb.com.delete.this), November 11, 1999.

Hey, we've had similar sabre-rattling in the UK recently. Nice to know we're not five years behind in *everything*. :)

Actually, the banks are my biggest worry, and one of the first effects of a cash shortage that I have been expecting is a "policy decision" to only dispense to their own customers.

-- Colin MacDonald (roborogerborg@yahoo.com), November 11, 1999.

It seems to me that not dispensing cash to non-customers is the bank equivalent of an electric company going "off-grid". For the customer, an occassional glitch at a particular ATM, just meant a trip to another ATM - that might no longer be possible. For the bank, esp. with the Fed Reserve raising loan rates for banks to have more cash on hand, it keeps banks from having to have enough "liquidity" to cover not only their own, but other's banks. It also makes it more likely that people will have to go IN to the bank - and confront tellers who may question large withdrawals and caution customers that... (this is the chorus.. y'all chime in)..

... the safest place for your money is in the bank.

-- Linda (lwmb@plsn.com), November 11, 1999.

Never-ever, Ever, Ever pay a bank fee! They make enough money from loaning out deposits. Make sure you have free checking, and money market accounts. Also, never use another banks ATM. You can have as many free accounts with as many banks as you wish. This is America, rejoice in being in America. Example of bank ATM fees: If you use the Atm 2 times a week and you use someone elses Atm for one of those times, you pay their fee and your own banks fee which can be $2-$3 per use. If you carry that 1 foreign Atm use/week out for one year, you end up giving $104-$156 right to the bank in form of transaction fees. For the bank, the ATM is the cheepest way to make bank transactions. Without the ATM's they would have to go back to expensive teller transaction and keep the bank open for longer hours. They really don't want to do this.

-- Ned P Zimmer (ned@nednet.com), November 11, 1999.

Excuse me, but this is a lil bit scarey to me. IF they are going to do this, and it looks like they will, and set the pace for other banks to do the same, talk about a traffic jam!!!!!! We cant even comprehend the totality of it. Can you imagine 'if' everybody who banked at 'ABC' bank used their own atm? Oh my, not a 'good' thing.....Such mayhem. Also, I like what someone else said about the bank playing hardball, that is the truth. I do not like to pay fees either, but thank goodness for those who do, or I'd never get to my money. Of course, soon we wont have that problem..oh 'sigh'

-- tis me (Not@aol.com), November 11, 1999.

I'm as much a doomer as ther next forumite, but this has nothing to do with limiting cash or y2k. Here in SF you can't swing a loaf of sourdough without hitting a Wells or Bank of America ATM. Everyone uses them.

Simply put, no business can be forced to provide free services to non-customers. Would you go to a car wash and ask to borrow a hose and bucket? ATM networks cost a lot to maintain and run. Rather than subsidise non-customer use, the banks are limiting service to their own clients. Santa Monica was the first to go since they passed a law limiting fees a while ago. SF just voted on this last week.

ATM's on every corner are a convenience to the financially irresponsible, cash in the hand for instant gratification. If that's what one wants, one must pay for the privilege. Don't want to pay fees? Think ahead on what you need to spend and take out enough to cover. Plan ahead !!

-- maybe a banker (not@home.now), November 11, 1999.

I used an ATM for the first time maybe 3 years ago. I last used one about 8 months ago. I guess I can live without my own bank's, much less some brand-X ATM in the grocery store. Come on, people, work on bigger problems.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), November 11, 1999.

How about the bill (just passed?) allowing Banks to control the securities and insurance industries?

Just what we need in America: more centralized power.

-- Dr. Polymorph (Theyhavemore@thanyoudo.com), November 11, 1999.

Just goes to show you how quickly they (the industry) can turn on and turn off the cash flow spigot.....

If you do need to deposit your late December paycheck - be careful. Paln ahead for whatever automatic withdrawals are needed, what other contingencies you have planned, and what amount of cash you expect to need to tide you over.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Marietta, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), November 11, 1999.

What does this do to internet banks, like Netbank and Telebank, that don't have their own ATMs? Telebank has an "ATM refunder" program, so they'll pay the other banks fee for you, one time per week. Do they get a special deal, or is the customer just out of luck?
-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), November 12, 1999.

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