Free Access Gets Costlier For CO-OPMembers

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ONTARIO, Calif. - (02/28/06) -- The cost for credit unions to havefee-free access to nonbank ATMs is going up for The CO-OP Network's1,800 credit union members. As of May 1, the CO-OP will increasethe interchange fee paid by debit card issuers to nonbank ATMoperators for each ATM withdrawal made by a customer of the issuerfrom 60 cents to 70 cents. CO-OP Officials say the increase isjustified because ATM acquirers have seen their ATMcash-replenishment costs increase. The string of interest ratehikes in the past year means the companies that supply cash to theATM owners pay more to reserve cash for ATMs. The CO-OP's creditunion members can offer the surcharge-free program to their 25.8million debit cardholders. The CO-OP Network's largest off-premiseATM participants include Publix Supermarkets, Cumberland Farmsconvenience stores, The Pantry convenience stores, 7-Eleven Storesand Los Angeles-based Financial Consulting and TradingInc.

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