Direct payment and automated banking machines are conveniences but be aware there is a transaction fee involved every time you use your card. How much the charge is depends on which financial institution your card is from, the type of account you have, and what machine you use. Senior and youth accounts seem to get a break and in some cases the service fee is covered in a specialized account.
For instance in May of 1999 a spokes person at the Saskatoon Credit Union indicated when you make a direct payment at point of sale the charge is 45 cents. But if you happen to have a Master Plan at a cost of $ 9.50 per month or you are over 60 there is no 45 cent charge.
If a Saskatoon Credit Union member uses a Credit Union automated teller machine within the province of Saskatchewan it triggers a 45-cent charge. Outside the province it is $1.25. Using the automated teller machine of another financial institution anywhere within Canada also costs $1.25 per transaction. If you use your card in the United States at an automated teller expect a $2 debit from your account.
At the Bank of Montreal the charge depends on the type of account. Some Accounts include the service fee. But generally speaking using your Interac card for a point of sale purchase costs 50 cents, if the money is to be debited from a savings account, 30 cents if it is from a chequing account. If a Bank of Montreal card is used at another institution’s automated bank machine the cost is 50 cents for either a savings or chequing account and the host institution may charge an additional $1. Whether seniors are charged this additional amount depends on the policy of the host financial institution. Some Bank of Montreal accounts allow a certain number of transactions in the United States without charge but as a general rule there is a $2 transaction fee.
To sum up, direct payment and automated banking machines are a convenience but we pay for the convenience. For complete information on Interac charges and automated teller or banking machine transaction fees call your bank or credit union.
By Liz Delahey, Home Economist