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Move to unite ATMs gains momentum

BANGKOK: The Thai Bankers’ Association (TBA) expects to finalise a study by mid-year on white-label ATMs, a cash withdrawal pool network that will be run by a company instead of individual banks.


Bangkok Post

Sunday 19 February 2017, 11:00AM

The banking industry spends about B3.6 billion a year on ATM replacement and maintenance.
The banking industry spends about B3.6 billion a year on ATM replacement and maintenance.

Given that the network will be run by a particular firm, the cost of expanding the number of ATMs, maintenance, replacement and management will be shared among various banks, cutting costs for the industry.

The white-label ATM concept will also help reduce the number of overlapping ATMs in each area and better expand cash machines into remote areas, providing those who live upcountry with better access to financial services such as bill payment, cash withdrawal and mutual fund investment.

The banking industry spends about B3.6 billion a year on ATM replacement and maintenance, based on the estimate that 7,000-8,000 ATMs a year need replacing at a cost of B400,000-500,000 each, said Yos Kimsawate, head of the Payment System Office under the TBA.

There are 60,000-70,000 ATMs nationwide. Each machine typically must be replaced every eight years.

The white-label ATM concept was initiated by the Finance Ministry and is under review by the TBA. The pool service could also be extended to cash trucks.

Mr Yos said the TBA needs to study cost-sharing models to ensure fairness in the industry.

If the white-label concept is implemented, it could take a toll on large banks' fee-based income, as they have spent extensively on installing the ATM infrastructure base, he said, adding that small banks with more limited ATM networks will immediately reap the benefits of the shared network.

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“Small banks should be charged higher fees for ATM services than larger banks,” Mr Yos said. “But consumers wouldn't take a hit from white-label ATMs, as the ATM charges would remain unchanged.”

Separately, Piti Tantakasem, chief wholesale banking officer of TMB Bank and a board member of National ITMX Co, a local switching system provider, said ITMX will provide the service to all debit card payment providers, including Thai Payment Network, Visa International and MasterCard.

In the long term, ITMX is likely to upgrade to a national payment infrastructure service provider, with coverage spanning debit and credit cards and digital banking services at ATMs to keep pace with the evolving technology.

Shareholders of ITMX include Bangkok Bank, Krungthai Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Kasikornbank, Bank of Ayudhya and TMB Bank.


Read original story here.



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marcher | 19 February 2017 - 19:01:58

Not such good news. I never pay  fees on my debit card by using my bank's ATMs, but I assume everyone will be charged a fee on the new system

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KCPhuket | 19 February 2017 - 13:14:27

Well I am sick of the banks funding their ATMs on the backs of foreign ATM cards. Much like the 10-fold fees for parks, zoos and the like. No doubt the new scheme will not reduce card fees. What goes up must stay up. Sad.

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