Euronet Introduces ATM Access Fee in Malta: What You Need to Know

Euronet Introduces ATM Access Fee in Malta: What You Need to Know

ATM Access Fee, also known as Direct Access Fee (DAF), is a fee associated with a cash withdrawal on an ATM. Such a fee is determined by the ATM Operator and is presented to the customer prior to finalizing the transaction. DAF is not to be confused with any fee that the customer’s bank may charge the customer for the transaction. A screen disclaimer informs the customer of the DAF, and they are given the option to proceed or cancel. 

The ATM Operator introduces DAF to reflect the increasing cost of providing cash access 24×7. Until recently, the common practice was (and in some cases still is) that Banks would not charge a fee for cash withdrawals when their cardholders used their bank’s ATMs. However, in many cases the Bank applies a fee to their cardholders for a cash withdrawal at ATMs belonging to a different Bank or an Independent ATM operator (IAD).  Such practice leads to a malfunctioning market condition, where the ATM Operator is not directly compensated for the cash service provided, and the customer is penalized for using an ATM other than his own bank’s. Currently in Malta, banks may continue to levy a disloyalty fee.

The ATM Access Fee is an attempt to attribute the service fee to its actual provider (in this case the ATM operator)

Most ATM operators, including Euronet, already apply DAF to international transactions on ATMs and may now be extending the service for cash withdrawals from domestic (cards issued in EUR by local Banks) and Euro cardholders (issued from Banks established in countries other than Malta). Recent developments in the ATM industry have resulted in the possibility for ATM Operators to apply such a fee to Domestic Cardholders to cater for the increasing cost of establishing and maintaining an ATM Network. Malta has been one of those countries within the scope of this change.  The application of DAF is already a common practice in many markets in Europe.

Operating an ATM network is a complex and costly business

Securing cash access and maintaining a well-functioning ATM Network that serves both a local community and international travellers 24×7 comes with significant operational costs.  To name a few, these costs include the purchase of the ATM, armoured car servicing, rental rates paid to property owners, ATM installation and maintenance, security provisions, compliance with applicable National, EU and European Central Bank regulations. Such costs are increasing especially under the global economic and inflationary pressures, resulting in higher costs per transaction for the service provided. It is no surprise that the concept of “Cash Deserts” has emerged in many countries because of Banks retracting their Branches & ATMs. Contrary to this trend, Euronet has a strategic commitment to secure cash access for all, and the introduction of DAF contributes to this goal.

Customers may feel strongly about paying fees for using an ATM, but DAF has become imperative to allow for the continuity of the ATM service in desired locations. It is also a fair fee allocated to the ATM service provider and is not a penalty fee.  This fee will not apply to cardholders of banks which have a bilateral agreement with Euronet, for which special provisions may apply, namely BNF Bank.

Contact us
Customer Service