ATM usage surges after fee removal

ATM usage surges after fee removal

Just days after eliminating withdrawal fees from its ATMs, Commonwealth Bank has recorded a significant increase in usage of its machines by customers of other banks.

According to CommBank, the immediate effect of removing withdrawal fees from its ATM network on Sunday 24 September 2017 was a 16% increase in usage by non-CommBank customers. This usage increased further to 38% on Monday the 25th, and to 46% on Tuesday the 26th, for an overall average increase of approximately 34%.

Commonwealth Bank executive general manager, Andrew Hall, described this rapid increase in usage as proof that Australians wanted a change:

“This is great news for Australians living anywhere across Australia but it is particularly good news for people living in areas where there is less choice of ATM providers.”

State Sunday ATM use % increase Monday ATM use % increase Tuesday ATM use % increase
ACT 15% 55% 57%
NSW 13% 39% 45%
NT 27% 16% 19%
QLD 19% 49% 48%
SA 16% 38% 32%
TAS 24% 58% 50%
VIC 17% 43% 54%
WA 16% 1% 36%
National 16% 38% 46%

(Increases based on comparison to ATM usage on Sunday 10 September, Monday 11 September and Tuesday 12 September 2017)

It is not yet known what impact the removal of foreign ATM fees has had on ANZ, Westpac and NAB, which also moved to eliminate these fees soon after the CommBank announcement.

As well as the Big Four, other Aussie banks are making the commitment to remove ATM fees, including Suncorp, as well as Bankwest, with the exception of its ATMs in 7-Elevens around Australia.

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How can I close a Commonwealth Bank account?

You can close your Commonwealth Bank account at any branch, provided you have appropriate identification. You can also close your account over the phone, by calling 132 221, 24 hours a day.

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If your bank offers online services, you should be able to find your bank account number online by logging into your account on your bank’s website and checking your details there.

Keep in mind that each type of account you have with a bank comes with a unique account number. This means if you have a bank account as well as a savings account, for example, your bank account number and your savings account number will be different.

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Alternatively, you can call your bank’s customer service number or visit a branch to retrieve your account number.

How to transfer money to another bank account

Transferring money to another bank is often called a bank transfer, and it can be done a few different ways.

Customers generally need three pieces of information to transfer money to another bank account. Customers need the account name, BSB and account number of the account they wish to transfer money to.

One way of transferring money to another bank account is in a branch with the help of a staff member; they will often give you a receipt as well as confirmation of the transfer.

Transfers can be also made via internet banking and phone banking.

Some banks also allow customers to make transfers via partnered ATMs, especially if the account is with the same bank.

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Can the government take your money from your bank account?

There are some instances when the government can take money from your bank account. This generally occurs in situations where you have an outstanding government debt.

Before it can take money from your bank account, the government authority owed money would first need to issue a garnishee notice. 

A garnishee notice is issued by the government agency (such as Centrelink or the ATO) to a third party that holds money for you or owes you money.

To take money from your bank account, your bank would be issued with the garnishee notice requiring it to pay ‘your money’ to the requesting agency to satisfy the debt.

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Yes, Australian bank accounts are frozen when someone dies. If you want to close the account of somebody who has died, you might have to provide proof of death and a copy of the will. You might also have to prove your relationship to the deceased person.

If you have a joint bank account with somebody who has died, you will generally be entitled to all the money in the account. Again, you might have to provide proof of death if you want to change the bank account from a joint account to a one-person account.

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Checking your bank account balance online is a simple process. Once you’ve logged in to your online banking, clock on the relevant account and the balance should be visible.

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To find ‘live’ bank accounts in your name, you’ll have to ask individual lenders, which involves contacting them one by one and proving your identity each time. To find ‘unclaimed’ bank accounts (those that have been inactive for at least seven years), you can use this website.

How do I close a bank account?

Closing a bank account is one of those tasks that’s easy to put in the too-hard basket. There are quite a few steps involved, some which may require you to hang on the phone for a while.  

Here’s a handy checklist of items to tick off, so the job gets done quicker. If you don’t do your banking online, the following steps can also be done at a branch.   

  • Cancel any scheduled or recurring payments
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How can I wire money to a bank account?

You can wire money to an Australian bank account either through your own bank or by using a money transfer company such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Either way, you’ll need the other person’s name, BSB number and account number. If you use a money transfer company, you might also need to provide the recipient’s address for large payments.

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Deleting your bank account from PayPal is a simple three-step process:

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For privacy reasons, Australian banks won’t hand out account numbers or other details about their customers. However, if you provide a bank with a BSB and account number, they should be able to confirm if those numbers belong to one of their customers.

Can I close a bank account with pending transactions?

You can close a bank account with pending transactions. But after the account is closed, any incoming transactions will be declined by your (old) bank.

The best way to ensure this doesn’t occur is to either wait to close your account until all pending transactions are complete, or contact the creditor and supply them with alternate bank details.

If you’re unsure whether you have any scheduled transactions, you can speak to a banking representative over the phone or via online support.

In most cases, your bank withholds the amount owing for pending transactions (such as online purchases).

Because the pending amount is deducted from your bank balance, you can close your bank account and the purchase will be honoured.