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Automated Teller Machines                                                                                                     
        

Overview

Ireland is one of the highest users of cash, and consequently, Irish people are among the highest users of ATMs.

As at year-end  2010 there were 3265 ATMs in Ireland, and the number was trending slightly downwards.  During the year, they had spewed out €22bn in Euro notes in 178m transactions.  This is almost €5,000 for every man, woman and child in the country, and is the highest payout of any country in Europe

All Irish ATMs are owned by the banks, and each bank is linked to the others through bilateral arrangements, so that ATM cards issued by one bank may be used in the ATM of the other. Additionally, most banks are linked to the Mastercard and/or Visa systems, so that a wide variety of international cards can be accepted by Irish ATMs.

Cash paid out by ATMs is checked for quality and checked for counterfeit.

If you ever wondered what's inside an ATM, click here

Limits on ATM withdrawals

Both the bank owners of ATM machines and the card issuing bank have facilities to limit ATM withdrawals. The maximum amount paid out will be the lower of these limits. The card issuing bank may limit individual cards or may permit high users of cash to draw higher amounts.

Charges for ATM transactions

The National Consumer Agency conducts regular surveys of charges for current account services. These can be accessed on www.nca.ie and typically range from €0.0 to €0.28. There are no additional charges in Ireland levied by the ATM owner for transactions for other banks. So you can use your card freely in any ATM without extra charge. (Note:- certain banks limit some cards to withdrawals in the banks own ATM only.)

There are no additional charges for withdrawing euros in any euro country. (Note that charges may apply in certain countries which use euros but are not officially euro countries e.g. Kosovo)

When you withdraw cash in a non-euro country the typical charge by your bank is 3.5% (min €3.17 max €11.43). Additionally, in some places, there may be a charge by the ATM owner - and there may be some margin in the conversion rate.

When something goes wrong

ATMs are generally reliable, but things occasionally go wrong.  The machine may reject your transaction if you do not have sufficient available funds in your account, or because you have breached the daily limit on withdrawals.  Or there may be a failure to deliver cash, or a failure to return your card.  In all such cases and others, if you want redress, you should go to your own bank; not to the bank who owns the ATM.

In the event that you dispute an ATM transaction, then the bank will frequently assert that their systems show that your card and your PIN have been used in the withdrawal, and that this alone is sufficient evidence that either you withdrew, or that you did not store your card and PIN sufficiently well.  Here is what the law says “

“73. (1) If a payment service user denies having authorised an executed payment transaction or claims that a payment transaction was not correctly executed, it is for the payment service provider concerned to prove that the transaction was authenticated, accurately recorded, entered in the accounts and not affected by a technical breakdown or some other error or failure.

(2) If a payment service user denies having authorised an executed payment transaction, the use of a payment instrument recorded by the payment service provider is not in itself necessarily sufficient to prove either that the payment transaction was authorised by the payer or that the payer acted fraudulently or intentionally or failed, because he or she acted with gross negligence, to fulfil one or more of his or her obligations under Regulation 70.”

This legislation has not yet been tested in court.