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The Daily

New York City Home to Second Highest ATM Fees in Nation

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 5, 2015
'Bankomat 050421' by Andreas - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons No, it's not just you: New Yorkers pay higher ATM fees than any other city in the nation save for Atlanta, according to CNN Money, and what's more, they're actually rising. Since 2010, average ATM fees overall have increased by 21 percent.

Why so much, so fast? Part of the reason is the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, which created a number of new restrictions on what financial institutions could charge fees for, and to whom. For example, the Durbin Amendment limited transaction fees imposed on merchants who accepted debit card payments, knocking them down from an average of 44 cents per transaction to 12. With these revenue sources severely reduced, banks turned to other sources to make up for it, such as ATM fees, according to an article in Investors Business Daily that was published shortly after law's passage. 

Another reason, however, could just be changing consumer habits, according to the Wall Street Journal. People don't use cash as much as they used to, meaning fewer of them use ATMs at all, but those machines still need to be maintained. The costs of maintaining a network of machines for a shrinking base of actual users mean banks are turning to out-of-network users to make up the difference. 

Regardless, with fees this high, cash becomes even less attractive than before, and so we could see that higher fees may actually accelerate this trend: as ATMs get more expensive, fewer people want to use them, which means ATMs would need to get more expensive to make up the difference, which turns even more people off of ATMs.