New Trends Underscore Role of Surcharge-Free ATMs


Market trends suggest it is time for banks and credit unions to take another look at cash access strategies.

Mercator Advisory Group releases new research on trends in U.S. consumer cash use and surcharge-free ATMs.

Author: Sarah Grotta
Published on: February 10, 2017

While other countries look to discourage reliance on cash, consumers in the U.S. continue to include cash in their day-to-day payment transaction mix. The use of cash permeates across generations, suggesting that although cash use has seen a small decline in use, it will still play an important role for many years to come.

Mercator Advisory Group’s latest report, New Trends Underscore Role of Surcharge-Free ATMs, provides an understanding of cash usage in the U.S., the reasons that financial institutions of all sizes are latching onto surcharge free networks, and a discussion of the small group of market providers for these services.

“Smaller institutions, online-only banks, and alternative financial product providers have been the traditional buyers of surcharge-free ATM networks to offer cash access points that could rival big financial institutions. Now, with new trends such as the rising expense of surcharge rebate programs and a desire to get out from underneath the overhead expense of managing off-premise ATM fleets, very large financial institutions are embracing surcharge-free as a lower-cost option, comments Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group, the author of the report.

This report is 14 pages long and has 6 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: Allpoint, Citibank, CO-OP, Costco, CU 24, CVS, Fifth Third Bank, First Tennessee, Fiserv, Green Dot, Kroger, Mastercard, Safeway, Star sf, Target, Visa, Walmart.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Trends in cash usage in the U.S.
  • Channels U.S. consumers use to get cash.
  • The influence of convenient cash access has on the choice of a financial institution
  • Recent trends that are influencing the use of surcharge-free strategies by larger banks and credit unions


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