Could A.T.M.s Fund Public Services?
At the same time we complain about the cost of funding public services, Canadians happily give banks hundreds of millions in A.T.M. fees each year.
It costs banks about $.36 per transaction to maintain automatic teller machines.
Most banks charge between $2.00 and $4.00 per A.T.M. transaction.
That’s anywhere from $1.69 to $3.64 per A.T.M. transaction that Canadians give to an industry that makes 19 billion dollars in profit per year.
Might there not be a better use for A.T.M. fee proceeds?
What if we set all A.T.M. fees at $2.00, gave the bank $ 1.00 and assigned $1.00 to fund public services? (Education, health or transit) That’s $420 million per year to start, more if we raised A.T.M. fees or lowered the bank’s cut.
I know, your bank and B.C. credit union A.T.M.s charge nothing, and yes, there are jurisdictional concerns – the federal government is in charge of banks.
And I know, banks would offer fewer A.T.M.s. After all, under this scheme, they would only net $.64 per transaction.
But beyond nit picking the numbers and logistics, the proceeds from A.T.M. fees are only one glaring example of money we willingly give away to private business that could be used to fund necessary public services.
Of course this plan won’t happen – we’d never be willing to wrestle a nickel from any wealthy entity, let alone a bank, just to support public spending.
Still, it’s undeniable and disturbing that we will simultaneously open our wallets to donate money to banks, and our mouths to scream about the funding of public services.