Since this autumn, various banks have been charging transaction costs if you have a cheap payment package and withdraw money at an ATM that is not owned by Geldmaat or your own bank. And you won’t find either one abroad, so you’re out of luck.
75 cents at a time
At Rabobank, for example, it costs 75 cents to withdraw cash with the DirectPakket, the BasicPakket and the StudentenPakket, it does not matter whether you withdraw a tenner from your bank account or a thousand euros. But if you do not want to have too much money in your pocket and therefore withdraw twenty euros every day, the cost counter can quickly add up. 5.25 euros extra (7 x 75 cents) for a week of apres-ski, you can also buy a beer from that.
At ING, only customers with an Orange package with a discount, the cheapest package, have to pay per cash withdrawal. It’s about 80 cents. Students are allowed to pay by debit card 12 times a year, after which they also have to pay 80 cents.
5 euros per withdrawal
At ABN Amro, the threshold is higher. You only have to pay there if you remove more than 12,000 euros from the flap pen in a year. The counter will increase quickly, because you have to deposit 5 euros per cash withdrawal and another 0.5 percent of the amount withdrawn. ABN Amro’s new rules were the first to take effect on 1 July.
Nibud and the Consumers’ Association, among others, are not happy with the costs that banks charge for cash. An earlier conversation of the Consumers’ Association with ABN Amro, however, came to nothing, according to Joyce Donat.
“The banks are putting their heels in the sand. There are many interests at stake among all parties, so the talks are difficult. But we believe in a solution, that the measures will be reversed. Or, for example, that you are exempt from transaction costs up to a certain amount. .”
A spokesperson for DNB, the central bank of the Netherlands, says that there should be clarity in January. “The banks are autonomous in their policy, we cannot force them. But we are not in favor of transaction costs. Payment systems must be accessible. We try to make better agreements with the banks in good consultation.”
According to DNB, agreements are ‘more flexible than regulations’. However, several political parties want Minister Hoekstra to introduce a ban on charging costs for debiting money. Hoekstra already let it be known that he was not yet interested in this, but that he was going to talk to the banks. The result is also expected in January.
It is not known how much money the transaction costs have generated for the three major banks or how many customers have a cheap payment package. Rabobank, ABN Amro and ING all state that it concerns competition-sensitive information.
“In the Netherlands, every customer can pay by debit card at a Geldmaat,” said the spokesperson for Rabobank. “There are now 3850 ATMs in the Netherlands, most of them from Geldmaat, which means we more than meet the DNB standard (2950 ATMs) to be able to debit within 5 kilometers of your home. You do have to pay transaction costs abroad.”
At ING you do pay at a Geldmaat. However, the bank points out that customers with an ordinary Orange package, without a discount, do not have to pay to withdraw money. You pay 40 cents more per month in package costs. “We always advise customers to do the package comparer to see which payment package suits them best.”
Students do have to pay at ING after twelve transactions. “But the current account itself is free. Another alternative is that students pay via a payment request. That is also free.”
ABN Amro states that the measure affects only a few customers. “Before the implementation, we performed analyzes on our customer base. The prediction was that less than 2 percent of our customers would be affected by this. So far this seems to be the case.”
The bank introduced the new rules earlier than Rabobank and ING. However, according to the spokesperson, no customers have gone to another bank.