Changes in Australian automated teller machine fee rules have prompted some consumers to change their cash-machine behavior, data from the Reserve Bank of Australia suggest.

Australians made 40.7 million withdrawals in June from ATMs operated by their banks, up 13.1% from the year earlier, the country's central bank said last week.

This year the central bank began to let ATM owners charge users of their machines directly instead of collecting the fees through card issuers, which could pass along costs to their cardholders and impose their own fees. ATM operators must make the fees apparent by displaying them on their machines.

Such charges typically can cost two Australian dollars, or $1.72 in U.S. currency, according to observers and press reports. Several financial institutions instituted rate reductions or eliminations in the measure's wake.

Matthew Sinclair, the executive director of Carpadium Consulting, said two Australian dollars "is a pretty sizable fee, particularly for someone who might only be taking out $20 or $50 from the ATM in one go."

"We're already seeing the inevitable outcome of this process," he said, pointing out that National Australia Bank and Cuscal Ltd. have joined forces to offer fee-free ATM use across their combined network of more than 3,000 machines. "I would imagine that this will continue."

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