The ACCC has granted re-authorisation for banks to provide fee-free ATM services in certain very remote Indigenous communities for 10 years.
Under the arrangement, participating banks and ATM deployers provide fee-free ATM withdrawals and balance enquiries at up to 85 selected ATMs for customers of those banks.
“People living in very remote Indigenous communities can often pay high levels of total ATM fees due to frequent ATM usage to check balances and withdraw money, and a lack of access to alternatives,” ACCC Commissioner Roger Featherston said.
The Australian Bankers’ Association will continue to co-ordinate the arrangement. Under the arrangement, ATM deployers must meet higher levels of service. Additional banks and ATM deployers may be added over time.
“ATM services play a vital role in helping people to manage their finances effectively. The communities to benefit from this project are located across the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. The full list of ATM locations and participating banks is available on the ACCC’s website,” Mr Featherston said.
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Notes to editors
The ACCC previously authorised the arrangement in 2012 for five years.
Authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act (2010).
Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit resulting from the conduct outweighs any public detriment. Authorisation is sought as the proposed conduct may contain a cartel provision or may have the purpose or effect of substantially lessening competition or be an exclusionary provision within the meaning of section 45 of the Act.
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