Cardtronics Inc. has launched a product that enables financial institutions to steer their customers to ATMs in their surcharge-free networks.

When consumers who have registered for the product, called FeeAlert, use an out-of-network, fee-charging ATM, they receive a text message or email message from their bank or credit union. The message alerts them to the nearest machines they could use for free, according to an Oct. 2 Cardtronics press release.

“Surcharge-free ATM accessibility is largely driven by awareness—a cardholder can’t use an in-network, surcharge-free cash machine if they don’t know it’s there,” said Rick Updyke, president of Houston-based Cardtronics’ U.S. Business Group.

Financial institutions could earn consumers’ loyalty by helping them avoid ATM fees, Updyke suggested in the release.

Cardtronics benefits because many of the nearby surcharge-free machines are its bank-branded or surcharge-free Allpoint Network ATMs, the release said. The company operates more than 61,200 retail ATMs in the United States and abroad and in August, acquired ATM Network Inc.

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