Bank of China

Most customers want ATM networks linked

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 March, 2008, 12:00am

Two-thirds of bank customers say they would use cross-network cash withdrawal services if the two main networks in Hong Kong were connected, according to a survey.

But only 10 per cent of the 1,006 respondents were willing to pay an extra charge, ranging from HK$1 to HK$15 per transaction, to do so.

The survey, commissioned by the Hong Kong Association of Banks, found 67 per cent of interviewees favoured a link between the two networks. Of them, 83 per cent would not use the other network's service if a handling fee were charged.

More than 80 per cent of respondents said the existing service was convenient.

More than 2,500 ATMs have been installed in Hong Kong by the two largest networks - HSBC/Hang Seng Bank Group and Jetco, an interbank connection of 26 financial institutions, including the Bank of China.

Association chairman He Guangbei said the survey report would be handed to both network providers.

'Hong Kong is among the top cities in the world in having the most extensive ATM and bank branch networks. We are pleased at the high level of convenience acknowledged by the public,' he said.

A Monetary Authority spokesman said: 'A link between the two networks will obviously be more convenient. It is for the network operators and participating institutions to consider how a commercially workable arrangement can be reached.'

An HSBC spokesman said the bank would increase the number of ATMs by 50 per cent over the next three years, with the aim of full coverage at all public housing estates.

'We do not see any need to link the two local ATM networks,' he said.