No More Sticker Shock — Congress Eliminates the External Fee Notice Requirement in the Electronic Fund Transfer Act

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Congress gave banks and other ATM operators an early holiday present this year. On December 11, the Senate unanimously passed S. 3204, which eliminates the external fee notice requirement in the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1693, et seq. (“EFTA”). The House passed an identical bill, H. 4367, last July. The President is expected to sign the measure into law.

The EFTA currently requires ATM operators to post an external fee notice on or near the machine that a fee will or may be charged for use of the ATM as well as either on the screen of the ATM or on a paper printout before the user is committed to paying a fee. See 15 U.S.C. § 1693b(d)(3); 12 C.F.R. § 205.16(c). The new legislation will amend the EFTA to eliminate this external fee notice requirement. Congress determined the requirement “is unnecessary because ATM operators are required to disclose fees on ATM screens and consumers have the right to decline the transaction without being charged.”

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