Last week, Vietnam's central bank announced that it would allow banks to begin charging fees on internal ATM transactions starting in 2013. But the country's major banks want more: They want to raise fees on interbank transactions because they say they are losing too much money sharing ATM services with smaller banks.
According to an article by Vietnam News Service, an unnamed executive at a major bank in Ho Chi Minh City said a fee increase was necessary in order to pay for the cost of building and operating ATM facilities to serve customers. Currently banks are losing money on their ATM networks.
"This is the reason why many small banks do not have enough money to build many ATMs, although they have issued so many cards," the source told the Tuoi Tre newspaper. "Consequently, cardholders of small banks have to use ATMs of major banks to carry out their transactions."
The deputy director of another major bank in Ha Noi said that major banks could not support small banks' use of ATMs any longer. They should either invest more in their own ATMs or pay more for interbank transactions, he said.
Currently six large Vietnam banks account for 70 percent of the country's ATMs, the VNS article said. According to Smartlink Card Service, Vietnam had about 15,000 ATMs as of late 2011, and nearly 40 million cards in circulation. Transaction values totalled $32 million.
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