by Samantha Calthrop
Criticism has been targeted at AIB and Bank of Ireland, both of whom have announced that they plan to sell a collective 1000 of their ATMs on to private companies, who may introduce extra charges. Presenter Eoghan McDermott and journalist Michael Wolsey have both taken to the media to voice their protests, and critics on social media have been calling for the selling to be made an “election issue”.
Most of the ATMs being sold are located in shopping centres and newsagents, with ATMs in branches to be left untouched. Private-owned ATMs usually include a fee for withdrawing money, up to €3 per withdrawal in other countries. “At the end of the day, it will cost consumers more money,” said the chairman of the Consumers’ Association, Michael Kilcoyne.
There is also concern for ATMs in rural areas and for business that rely on foot traffic from ATMs. Private ATMs are not regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and can set their own fees
At the time of writing, the majority of the ATMs are thought to be being sold to Euronet, which already owns 600 free-to-use ATMs in the country.