Vienna, 26.08.2016 Schelling creates more transparency for ATM fees Austrian Minister of Finance not in favour of hidden fees

The discussion about automated teller machine (ATM) fees in Austria was triggered by a US third party provider. This third party provider currently charges EUR 1.95 for a cash withdrawal. Of the around 8,800 ATMs across Austria, only 67, which are mainly located in tourism regions, are affected. Austrian banks do not charge fees for ATM withdrawals. 

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance reacted quickly and has introduced draft legislation. The Minister of Finance is planning to increase transparency for bank clients by requiring clear labelling of ATMs that charge fees.

The main change is that clients will be able to clearly identify ATMs that charge special fees for cash withdrawals. “Clients should already be able to see whether a fee is charged as they approach an ATM. In order to create the necessary transparency for ATM fees, we want to require service providers to provide clear and unambiguous information about all additional payments for cash withdrawals”, stated Schelling. In addition to visible labelling of the ATM itself, additional information should also be displayed on the ATM screen before the transaction. Clients should also have the option to cancel a cash withdrawal if they do not want to pay a fee.

In the future, the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) will also monitor so-called third party providers who operate ATMs and are currently not subject to official supervision.

The new statutory provisions, i.e. amendments to the Zahlungsdienstegesetz (Austrian Payment Services Act), could enter into effect this year if the coalition partners give their approval quickly.