Many of us just swipe our ATM cards impulsively without checking the various occasions we use the service. The jolt comes when we are charged for disproportionate usage. Several banks charge ATM fees for the usage of their ATMs (Automated Teller Machines). In few instances, the fee is assessed exclusively for non-account holders of the bank while some banks charge ATM usage fee from all the users. There is a widespread criticism about the directive following which banks can charge users in case they utilize their own bank’s ATM over five times, or non-member bank’s ATM over three times a month. We blame these bank regulations and policies for the enormous fees rather than reflecting on what led to the enormity. The root of the problem lies in our ATM usage pattern. Below are some simple yet useful ways for how to save on ATM charges in India:
- Plan your ATM usage: Since ATM usage is chargeable; people need to transform their ATM usage to avoid running to ATM every time they require cash. You must withdraw sufficient money in one trip to reduce ATM usage frequency. Plan your cash utilization carefully to work out the best option so that you pay minimal visits to ATMs. Additionally, you will avoid using a different bank’s ATM if you have withdrawn an appropriate amount beforehand from your own bank’s ATM.
- Digital withdrawal: In case you primarily use ATM card to withdraw cash or transfer money into another account, using digital payment and wallet services would be a better option. A digital wallet, also known as e-wallet is an electronic tool that allows us to make e-commerce transactions such as buying items online or from offline stores. Link digital wallets to your bank account and easily operate them through your Smart phone to compensate for purchases. Rather than transferring cash, digital money transfer is safe, cost effective, and save your trips to ATMs whenever you need cash.
- Priority banking: When opening an account in a bank, compare facilities like number of free ATM usage. Banks tender full ATM usage for their priority customers (who can manage to maintain a balance of no less than Rs.25,000 a month). Even if you run out of gratis ATM usage, the bank waives off ATM charges for its priority customers.
- Internet banking: Use mobile or internet banking to confirm minimum balances. It is best to avoid non-financial operations at ATMs. Instead, use Phone/Net banking for executing non-Financial operations such as mini statement, balance enquiry, and PIN change.
- Use credit cards in place of cash: Make it a habit to pay by card in place of cash. Paying by card allows you to shop cashless. If you can beat the risk of overspending, payment through cards can save hefty ATM charges.
- Post Office ATMs: India Post department, which is presently a payment bank, is looking for its ATMs interoperability with other banks. This will allow account holders to use India Post ATMs thereby, limiting usage of their public or private sector bank ATMs. By opening an India Post account, you can enjoy their pan India ATM network and save money you otherwise shell out for ATMs usage of other banks.
These are some ways to save your excess ATM usage and charges incurred on it. Moreover, the age old method of hoarding some cash at your home to meet unforeseen expenses let you avoid withdrawing money through ATMs.