Photo Caption: Rose Miller, Manager for Strategic Empowerment Programmes at JN Foundation

Advancements with electronic transaction channels have transformed the banking industry and have led to more secure and enhanced customer experiences. The ATM in particular, which has become one of the more popular customer access channels, continues to drive economic growth by increasing access to financial services and when used efficiently, it can help people save time and money.

Rose Miller, Manager for Strategic Empowerment Programmes at JN Foundation said depending on how people bank and what they need cash for, there are ways to use the automated channels to minimise or avoid bank fees and maximise security, while doing business. ATMs are providing valuable services to bank customers, and by employing the right strategy, customers can ensure that convenience isn’t costly.

  1. Stay in-network. If you use an out-of-network ATM, you may be hit with a surcharge from the bank that owns that ATM, as well as a fee from your bank for using an ATM not in its network. It’s better to stick to in-network ATMs to avoid these costs and depending on your bank, you can also benefit from some fee-free withdrawals in-network.
  • Withdraw larger sums less frequently. You save by making fewer withdrawals at the ATM, especially if you are charged a fee each time you use one. If you anticipate needing cash for multiple reasons, consider taking out larger sums of cash in a single ATM visit to prepare for those reasons in advance, but keep in mind your security and your bank’s withdrawal limits.
  • Use smart ATMs for certain transactions. Depending on your bank, you can save valuable time and money by taking advantage of the advanced functionalities and convenience of smart ATMs. At some smart ATMs people can conduct several transactions including the payment of loans and with some in branch activities requiring teller fees, using the smart ATM can help you avoid the added costs, while also reducing wait times.
  • Find a bank that supports international ATMs. If you’re an international traveller, it pays to shop around for a bank account that doesn’t charge exorbitant foreign transaction fees for debit card withdrawals no matter where you go. A foreign currency account at your local bank is also a good option as this makes it easier for you to conduct transactions without the worry of converting cash for an added cost on your transaction.
  • Consider using digital payment solutions. Before running to the ATM, find out if cards or digital wallets are accepted at the place you are trying to conduct business. Today, businesses and vendors offer multiple options for payment, with some of those options being free. Some banks also have mobile apps that allow you to conduct transfers, check your balances and make payments at no extra cost.
  • Take advantage of online banking. Certain transactions can also be facilitated through online banking and these platforms are usually free and offer even more convenience to customers. This is a great way to maximise your time and save money as online banking eliminates the cost of going from place to place to transact business.
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