False claim circulates on Facebook that ATM fees were waived in Sri Lanka
Multiple Facebook posts shared thousands of times in February 2021 claim that ATM withdrawal fees were waived in Sri Lanka. The claim is false: Sri Lanka’s national payment infrastructure body as well as private banks said no such decision to waive ATM fees had been made.
The claim was made in a graphic image published on Facebook here on February 18, 2021.
The graphic’s Sinhala-language text translates to English as: “From today onwards, cash can be withdrawn using any bank card off ATMs without any withdrawal fee”.
The Facebook post’s caption translates as: “A must be done request / Here is the good news that was implemented”.
The claim is false, according to private banks and Sri Lanka’s national payment infrastructure.
A spokesperson for LankaClear, a national payment infrastructure organisation that is owned by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, told AFP by phone on February 23, 2021: “No decision has been made to revise or wave off the withdrawal fee charged for CAS".
CAS is an acronym for the Common ATM Switch, a LankaClear system that allows consumers to withdraw money from any ATM in the country regardless of their personal bank. The CAS network connects 99.95% of ATMs in Sri Lanka, LankaClear notes here.
CAS fees for withdrawing cash or checking account balances were listed by LankaClear here.
Customer support centres from multiple banks — including People’s Bank, Nations Trust Bank and Bank of Ceylon — also told AFP no decision has been made to waive ATM fees as of February 26, 2021.