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AIB sells 500 ATMs to American cash management company

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AIB has sold hundreds of ATM machines to American cash management company Brink’s.

The leading Irish bank said the deal includes an agreement that there will be no additional charges or fees for people using debit and ATM cards issued in this country.

There is also a commitment to retain the ATMs sold.

Fears of fee hikes were raised by this publication when it revealed last month that AIB and its rival Bank of Ireland were lining up the sales of hundreds of cash machines.

The machines being sold by both banks are mainly located in retail outlets and do not include in-branch ATMs.

AIB said in a statement: “Under the agreement Brink’s will retain existing ATMs, and customers with debit cards issued in the Republic of Ireland will not incur any surcharges or additional fees when using these ATMs.

“AIB will continue to own and manage the ATMs and cash and cheque lodgement devices located at our branches.”

Bank of Ireland is still in the process of selling off a network of 700 non-branch ATMs.

Virginia-based Brink’s said in a statement it plans to maintain the existing network of cash machines that it has bought in this country.

President and chief executive Doug Pertz added that it plans to “expand access to cash, particularly in underserved and rural communities”.

“More importantly, cardholders with bank accounts in the Republic of Ireland will receive the same level of service without incurring any additional fees or charges when using our ATMs,” he said.

The cost of the acquisition was not disclosed although it is not thought to be a large sum as many of the non-branch ATMs require upgrading, some needing to be replaced.

AIB will retain about 200 branch ATMs as well as 430 cash and cheque lodgement machines, of which 213 have the ability to dispense cash.

There are currently around 3,000 ATMs owned by banks, and another 750 owned by independent providers.

Fears had been expressed that the mass sell-off of ATMs by Bank of Ireland and AIB will see machines being closed down in rural areas where usage is low.

Consumer groups also warned that companies that own ATMs independently of banks are likely to impose charges and fees for using them.

This would be in addition to the fees imposed by banks for withdrawing cash from an ATM.

Bank of Ireland charges its customers 25c for cash withdrawals, with AIB charging 35c unless certain conditions are met to avail of fee-free banking.

Ulster Bank has already sold a network of 400 ATMs to US giant Euronet. That company now owns 600 ATM machines here, making it one of the dominant operators in the sector.

Online Editors