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Sheetz, M&T join forces to end surcharge on ATMs at the stores

March 05, 2006

ALTOONA, Pa.

Despite industry trends that show ATM fees increasing, Sheetz and M&T Bank said that effective March 1, customers who withdraw cash from any M&T Bank ATM machine at Sheetz - regardless of what bank they use - will not have to pay an extra surcharge fee.

The average surcharge - the fee customers pay to use another bank's ATM - has risen steadily over the years to $1.54, according to a recent study by Bankrate.com. That same study reports that American consumers paid more than $4.3 billion last year in withdrawal fees for using ATMs not owned by their own bank, according to a prepared release.

While Sheetz customers will not have to pay a surcharge fee for accessing money, they may still be charged a fee by their own bank for using M&T Bank's ATM.

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"We've all been there," Louie Sheetz, executive vice president of marketing, Sheetz Inc., said in the release. "We slide in our card, punch in our PIN, type in how much cash we need. Then that moment we all know is coming: The ATM informs us that accessing our own cash will actually cost us a buck or two, and asks if we still want to continue.

"So that $20 withdrawal actually costs $21.50 - or more. When you stop and think about how many times we use ATMs, those extra charges add up fast. It's frustrating."

He said that as a result of the partnership with M&T Bank, Sheetz customers can access their money at any Sheetz location without having to pay an ATM surcharge fee.

American consumers rely on ATM machines more than ever before, according to a 2004 industry report by Dove Consulting. There are now more than 371,000 ATMs in the U.S., or one ATM for every 296 households, the release says.

Consumers conducted approximately 11 billion ATM transactions in 2004, up 2 percent from 2002, according to the release.

In addition to the new surcharge-free service, M&T will begin replacing ATM machines in Sheetz stores this spring with new, higher-functioning machines manufactured by NCR, the release says.

The new touch-screen machines will dispense $10 and $20 bills, along with U.S. postage stamps and will offer transactions in English and Spanish.

The ATMs will be voice-enabled for the visually impaired.

M&T expects to have new machines installed in all Sheetz stores by fall.

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