Taking a page out of their Western counterparts’ playbooks, Vietnamese banks are now charging ATM cardholders a slew of fees to withdraw funds and maintain their accounts.
A recent report released by the State Bank of Vietnam found that there are currently 63 million domestic credit cards in use in Vietnam, up from 3.6 million in 2006. According to banks, this massive increase requires additional fees to maintain their ATM systems, reports Vietnam Net.
“Other commercial banks also impose many different kinds of fees on card holders. HDBank began collecting annual fees of VND60,000 since May 2015. In early April, ACB began collecting fees on opening domestic debit cards, at VND30,000 and the annual fee of VND50,000,” wrote the news website.
According to an industry analyst, Vietnamese ATM users now pay 30 kinds of fees.
“Vietnamese poor people now have to use luxury services,” he said, adding that, “Banks set up many new kinds of fees when the number of card holders increased.”
Banking expert, Dr. Nguyen Tri Hieu, said that while banks should be able to collect such fees, the current charges are unreasonable since local banks are pegging them at international standards while Vietnam is a developing country.
It looks like Vietnamese banks have learned what Western banks have long known – there’s serious money to be made from ATM fees. According to Time Magazine, while such charges hit up to US$5, the cost to banks for an ATM transaction is only US$0.36.