• Vietnamese banks may begin charging on-us ATM fees in March

Card-issuing banks in Vietnam will be allowed to charge their customers for ATM cash withdrawals starting in March. Cardholders already pay for ATM withdrawals at other banks’ ATMs.

Under the new State Bank of Vietnam rule, banks will be able to charge customers 1,000 dong (5 cents) per withdrawal beginning in March, 2013, said an article by Tuoit Tre. The following year, they may charge 2,000 dong (10 cents), and in 2015, they will be allowed to charge up to 3,000 dong (15 cents).

SBV also will allow charges for printed statements at the ATM, as well as an annual cardholder fee.

Not surprisingly, Vietnamese citizens — especially the poor — are unhappy about the new fees. The SVB has asked banks to increase cash withdrawal limits to at least 2 million dong so that customers can make fewer visits to the ATM — and pay less in fees.

Vietnamese banks have been campaigning for the ability to charge more in customer fees for ATM withdrawals, complaining that high ATM costs — including site rental and ATM sharing with banks that have fewer ATMs to operate and maintain — have made it impossible to run their ATM networks profitably.

For more on this topic, visit the regulatory issues research center.

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