Bank closes two cash machines in Hutt
‘‘People are using less cash, they are less reliant on cash.’’
A trend towards a cashless society and the removal of $1 transaction fees will see an increase in the number of cash machines being decommissioned, a banking expert says.
Westpac has closed two ATMs in the Hutt Valley, one in Upper Hutt and one in Taita, following a decision by some major banks to cut the fee it charges customers for using another bank’s cash machine.
Westpac spokesman Will Hine said the removal of the fee meant people could use four times as many ATMs as before, without incurring a fee.
Banking expert David Tripe, head of Massey University’s school of economics and finance, said the decommissioning of some ATMs was the ‘‘exact reverse’’ of what happened 20 years ago.
Prior to 1997, there was widespread sharing of ATMs because there was no charge, Tripe said.
‘‘What happened then was that Westpac was the first to impose a charge and the others all followed … That was when we got a proliferation of ATMs.’’
Now, the opposite happening, he said.
Tripe would be surprised if more ATM closures did not follow suit, Tripe said.
‘‘I certainly wouldn’t see this as an unusual event. I think we was will see more.’’
In addition to banks’ dropping ATM fees, people were using them less, he said.
‘‘Back in 1998, use of ATMs was increasing, and now in 2018, use of ATMS is decreasing.
‘‘It’s because we are using cards, rather than cash, to a greater degree than previously,’’ Tripe said.
‘‘That trend from cash to cards is a gradual one, but it means people are using less cash, they are less reliant on cash.’’
With a decrease in the number of transactions, some ATMs were becoming uneconomic to run, he said.
Hine said Westpac closed two ATMs in the Hutt Valley because there were ‘‘several’’ other ATMs within metres of them.
Its customers could now use more than 2400 ATMs nationwide without fees, he said.
Hine could not say whether they planned to close any more.
‘‘Changes to our ATM network are always subject to discussion with landlords and other parties and so we cannot comment on any future plans.’’
ANZ spokesman Stefan Herrick said they had no immediate plans to close any ATMs.
‘‘However, we’re always evaluating where our ATMs are best located so they are where there is most demand for them.’’
Kiwibank spokesman Bruce Thompson said he was not aware of any planned ATM removals ‘‘at this time’’.
BNZ spokeswoman Janine Ogier said there were no plans underway to reduce the number of its ATMs.
Twenty years ago, there was a surge in the number of ATMs. Now it’s going the other way. Banking expert David Tripe