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Fewer ATMs Means Less Convenience, More Fees For Bank Of America Customers

The big bank has removed ATMs from gas stations and malls.A couple of months back, my big bank yanked its ATMs from the train station I use. I didn’t find this out until I needed money.

So I paid the fee charged by the ATM operator that had quickly swooped in with its replacement machines. And I paid the fee my big bank tacked on for using an out-of-network ATM.

This was a disgusting money grab I felt trapped into paying. I needed the cash and had no other option in the train station.

It’s a feeling Bank of America customers could experience more often.

This week, Bloomberg reported that Bank of America has removed nearly 9% of its ATMs — or 1,536 machines — in a cost-saving move. Most of the pulled machines were located in gas stations and malls, where the North Carolina-based bank paid higher operating fees compared to its other ATMs.

Bank of America told the news service it chose those ATMs in part because they only dispensed cash — you can’t deposit checks there — and weren’t available 24 hours a day.

“It’s about convenience and access; that’s what customers are looking for,” a BofA spokesman told Bloomberg.

That’s exactly right.

I used the train station ATM because it was there when I needed it (read: convenient). I’m guessing a lot of Bank of America customers feel the same about mall ATMs.

But they’re in for a nasty surprise the next time they need money.

Either they won’t find an ATM, or they’ll be confronted with fees from a new operator.

They’ll also get hit with fees from Bank of America, which will collect a cut from its own customers now stuck using some other bank’s machine.

Ironic, no?

True, in a mall, there are sometimes other options for getting cash, even if it’s a hassle. At a gas station, another option might not exist.

What’s convenient about that?

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One Existing Comment
  1. Anthony said:
    on July 25th at 09:11 am

    I don’t understand why anyone would want to use a big bank. There are many credit unions out there (or regional banks) that charge little or no fees. I use Redneck Bank which pays over 2% on its checking and I get reimbursed up to $25 a month for ATM Fees I incur.