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Lack of ATM coverage threatens holiday season

2 December 2009
Media Statement

Lack of ATM coverage threatens holiday season

Dairies, social clubs, and service stations in small towns expecting population numbers to rise in the holiday season, including the inter-island ferries which attracts high numbers over Christmas want all New Zealanders to have access to independent ATMs, says Managing Director of ATM Plus David Dickinson, and director of NZATM Craig Whale.

“We have been inundated with letters and feedback from customers and business owners across the country who can’t understand why ANZ National and ASB cardholders can’t access their local independent ATM,” says Mr Dickinson.

At present ASB and ANZ National banks have not given their customers the same access to independent ATMs that every other New Zealander enjoys.

Non-bank independent ATMs prefer to go where the big banks don’t have ATMs; into small towns, rural communities, on the inter-island ferries and in regional airports like Invercargill Airport. ASB and ANZ National banks have 40% of the ATM market between them.

“It seems unfair not to let their customers have the same convenience that every other New Zealander enjoys, especially as people head off for the holiday season in campervans and spend Christmas and New Year in small towns,” says Mr Dickinson.

Kiwibank, Westpac, BNZ, TSB, SBS Bank and Rabobank all let their customers use independent ATMs. Rural communities are particularly badly affected by the lack of competition because Eftpos is not an adequate substitute for an ATM. For example, tourists cannot get money out of Eftpos from Visa and Mastercard. Neither can New Zealanders get a balance on Eftpos before they purchase anything.

“The irony is that ANZ National, ASB and their parent banks have no problem allowing their customers to use the thousands of non-bank ATMs in Australia.

“Don’t their Kiwi customers deserve the same treatment?” The recent Parliamentary Banking Inquiry pointed to the lack of competition in the ATM sector and called for a full review of banking regulations.

Today two independent ATM companies began a campaign with ads in the major daily newspapers calling on ASB and ANZ National customers to contact their local branches if they want the same access to independent ATMs that every other New Zealander enjoys.

ATM Letter (pdf)

ENDS

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