Bank closes two cash ma­chines in Hutt

Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE - CHLOE WIN­TER

‘‘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.

TETSURO MITOMO/STUFF

Twenty years ago, there was a surge in the num­ber of ATMs. Now it’s go­ing the other way. Bank­ing ex­pert David Tripe

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