ICICI Bank to hike ATM charges from 1 January

Beginning 1 January, ICICI Bank will charge its customers in metro areas Rs20 per financial transaction and Rs8.50 for every non-financial transaction (excluding service tax) as ATM charges for savings account holders for use of the facility over five times a month.

However, for transactions at non-ICICI Bank ATMs, customers will be charged on all transactions beyond three transactions per month. However, customers in non-metro areas can enjoy five free transactions per month at non-ICICI Bank ATMs, beyond which charges apply.

ICICI Bank, the country's largest private sector bank, said customers in the six metros of Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Hyderabad will have to pay ATM charges beyond the number of free transactions.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has suggested a method under which fixes the number of free transactions in a month at five for using bank's ATMs while for use of other banks' machines, it has been capped at three.

In all, customers can make five free transactions, including financial and non-financial, at the bank's own automated teller machines (ATM), it said in a post on its web site.

The charges arise mainly due the rising costs of providing ATM facility, following a spate of incidents at the ATMs like the robbery at Bengaluru last year, and the subsequent debate on transaction charges.

RBI came up with the fee system last month under which it allowed banks to charge from the fourth transaction onwards at other banks' ATMs in metros, and also gave the liberty to banks to charge customers for the sixth transaction onwards at own machines.

''The ATM transaction is free to you but not free to the bank. It costs the bank Rs 75 to Rs 100 for those five transactions. The bank has to collect that amount from somewhere and it has to be from customers. But there are two distortions that it creates. First, not everybody is doing the same amount of transactions and (also) are we subsidising using of cash by freeing up ATMs?,'' RBI governor Raghuram Rajan had said after announcing the new plan.