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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Barack Obama has signed into law new legislation aimed at cracking down on what the industry has called frivolous lawsuits regarding posted ATM fees. NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, said the move is "a significant victory for NACS members."
The bipartisan measure sponsored by U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), eliminates the requirement that ATMs display duplicative signs disclosing their fees in an effort to reduce fraud and protect consumers. Luetkemeyer filed the legislation after learning that one person in Missouri visited five ATMs, and had threatened to sue over missing fee-disclosure stickers and settled the cases for more than $100,000. The Electronic Funds Transfer Association previously reported that more than 500 cases have been filed against banks, credit unions and retailers that have ATMs and in some cases there were suspicions that an individual may have actually removed the signs on stickers from the ATMs, according to a release from the congressman's office.
The new law amends the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) to maintain the on-screen fee notice requirement, but no longer requires operators to post the duplicative signs on or near ATMs. Before the change, ATM operators were required to post both a notice of a transaction fee on or near the ATM and provide an on-screen notice of the fee during the transaction.
"This law will protect consumers by cracking down on nuisance lawsuits that have been plaguing institutions and their hard working customers," Luetkemeyer said. "I appreciate the bi-partisan support the measure has received in the House and Senate and I want to thank the president for signing this critical measure into law."
U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) introduced similar legislation through the Senate, paving the way for it to reach the president's desk.
NACS, along with the American Bankers Association, American Gaming Association, ATM Industry Association, Credit Union National Association, Electronic Funds Transfer Association and the Independent Community Bankers Association, joined together in asking Congress for relief from the current ATM signage law.