BROOKLYN, NY -- The National ATM Council has been locked in continual battles since its formation in 2011. It has fought misguided regulations, sought to rectify the unintended consequences of hastily passed laws, and striven to resolve marketplace conflicts with financial industry giants.
Because "retail" ATMs -- off-premise equipment (i.e., not in banks) -- are relative newcomers to the cash machine sector, having come on the scene in 1996, legal standards and best practices for their operation continue to evolve. That process often involves a fight.
Take, for instance, the former federal "fee sticker" law, which required redundant-fee disclosures: one displayed on the ATM screen and another imprinted on a sticker affixed to the machine. As it turned out, the stickers themselves were not the real issue. The problem was that it gave rise to an attorneys' cottage industry: when those stickers were deliberately or accidentally removed, thousands of resulting lawsuits generated costly settlements -- and guaranteed legal fees. Congress eliminated the sticker law in 2012 and the onscreen notification and "opt out" option have worked just fine ever since.
"We fought the sticker law, and won a repeal of it," said NAC board chair George Sarantopoulos of Access One Solutions (Brooklyn, NY). "The law was costly and resulted in a lot of nuisance lawsuits; ending it was important."
At about the same time, the association acted to ensure that Americans with Disabilities Act rules governing access to ATMs were reasonable and practical. "We were able to work with the Department of Justice to change some of the proposed ADA requirements for retail ATMs," Sarantopoulos reported. "We weren't able to get them to back away from voice guidance retrofitting, but what we did get made the new regulations much more livable." Read More>>