White ATM Machines Same as Pay Day Loans

in Service Fees

If you are going to pay $1.50 (or more) for the privilege of using a “White” ATM, you are actually paying worse rates than you would at a Pay Day Loan place.

Don’t believe me? So if I borrow $100 from a Pay Day Loan shop, the fee for this joyful thing is about $21 that has to be paid in 14 days (elapsed not business days). Just typing that makes my stomach turn, but I did actually look it up on one of the handy on-line pay-day loan sites (yes, that is sarcasm).

ATM Machine

White ATM Machine
Image courtesy of cooldesign, at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If over the month  you take $100 out $20 at a time from these White Shylocks (I use that term as a derogatory term for a money-lender and not in any other way), you’d pay $7.50 in fees (oh and your bank might nail you for more fees), so that actually looks much less than the $21 the Money Vampires want to charge you, however, indulge me on this.

  • In strict mathematical terms, given the $1.50 service fee is applied the second you get it, your interest rate is really effectively infinite (if the Time elapsed is Zero, math goes berserk).
  • Let’s assume you are paying $1.50 because you are too lazy to find an actual bank (your bank), and there was most likely a bank within 1 hour of you, so you are paying effectively $1.50 for an hour (or 7.5% interest for an hour). That translates to about  657 times your $20 withdrawal or 65700% ?

What is This?

Yes, this is more fun with numbers, but think about it, next time you use a White ATM machine.


  • Bet Crooks June 17, 2013, 3:10 PM

    I suspect these ABMs prey on the same species as the payday loan offices. It would be interesting to see why people are using them. I suspect they need cash for all the wrong reasons: to buy another beer, to buy another pack of smokes, to buy some junk food to satisfy the munchies. If that’s the case then the person’s ability to see the real cost of these ABMs is already impaired.

    For those who are just unaware, though, it would be great to get them to wake up. If they really have $1.50+ to give away regularly there are lots of charities that could use that money. There’s probably even a person on the street corner nearby with the sleeping bag who could put the money to better use than the ABM company.

  • Robert_M June 17, 2013, 9:09 AM

    Hi BCM,

    It is not just white ATMs that you have to be careful of, but all bank ATMs that are different from your regular bank. I use RBC and they do not have a branch in the town near our summer home. If I use another bank, then the same $1.50 fee applies.

    I learned to use debit while paying for groceries and ask for cash back. The grocer is happy to give me my money without asking for a service fee. Another $1.50 that stays in my pocket!


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