New Law Eliminates ATM Fee Decal Requirement On or At ATM Equipment

On December 20, 2012, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4367, eliminating the requirement that ATM operators post notice of a service fee on or at their ATM equipment, while retaining the requirement that a notice be posted on the ATM screen or that a paper notice be issued from the ATM. The bill was avidly pursued by ATM industry groups, retail trade associations, banking and credit union groups and others to combat what are perceived as frivolous class actions for failure to post redundant fee disclosures.

H.R. 4367, introduced by Congressman Blaine Leutkemeyer (R-Missouri) on April 17, 2012, revises Section 904(d)(3)(B) of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1693b(d)(3)(B), commonly known as the federal Electronic Fund Transfer Act. It eliminates the need for ATM owners and operators to post the notices of transaction fees on or at the ATM, while retaining the requirement that such a notice be posted on the ATM screen or provided by a paper notice issued from the ATM. As amended, Section 1693b(d)(3)(B) will read: “(B) Notice Requirement. The Notice required under clauses (i) and (ii) of subparagraph (A) with respect to any fee described in such subparagraph shall appear on the screen of the automated teller machine, or on a paper notice issued from such machine, after the transaction is initiated and before the consumer is irrevocably committed to completing the transaction.” The law was supported by many groups representing companies targeted in ATM fee disclosure class action lawsuits, including retailers, banks and credit unions. In some cases, the fee decals may have been intentionally removed so that claims could be pursued against the ATM owners and operators.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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