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David Tente, Executive Director
Despite the DOJ’s (Department of Justice) proclamation in 2017 that Operation Choke Point (OCP) had been terminated, many ATM operators have continued to have their cash settlement and other business accounts, apparently in good standing, closed for questionable reasons. Speculation is increasing that current closures may be tied more to bank de-risking strategies or profitability criteria than direct pressure from regulators.
ATMIA created the 2019 IAD Cash Settlement Account Closure Survey to evaluate the impact of sudden cash settlement account closures experienced by many IADs (Independent ATM Deployers). It sought to determine how widespread this problem is, what circumstances surround a typical account closure, and how operators are dealing with it. The survey was open to all independent ATM operators/owners/acquirers – both ATMIA members and non-members. Download the report . . .
Washington DC Fly-In scheduled for April 3, 2019
ATMIA hosted a two-day fly-in event last year in Washington, DC. A full schedule of eight meetings focused on members of the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. And the day ended with a very productive meeting at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB).
The lingering impact of Operation Choke Point (OCP) continues to affect independent ATM deployers (IADs) and was the main topic of conversation. This is despite the DoJ’s (Department of Justice) public statements last year that the initiative has been terminated. In fact, the morning of this meeting ATMIA received notice that a new flood of account terminations had just been announced by a major bank, ending long-standing relationships with a number of ATM operators.
ATMIA members met with Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer to thank him for his work on H.R. 2706, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, and express their support for the measure – which is intended to end OCP and similar initiatives in the future. Concerns were also expressed that additional efforts would be needed to ensure that regulators clearly communicate to banks that operating an ATM should not be considered a high-risk activity.
The growth of Reg E dispute fraud was brought to the attention of CFPB Chief of Staff and Public Affairs Director, Emma Doyle. ATMIA requested that windows for consumer claims and ATM operator responses be tightened, in order to make fraud more difficult to perpetrate. The maximum window for consumers to file a claim is currently 180 days.
The association also supports current efforts to change CFPB leadership to a five-person commission, and to bring the funding mechanism into normal budgetary processes.
IADs are encouraged to talk with their state and federal legislators
There is no more effective conversation with a state or federal legislator than the one you have with your representative. And they are particularly interested in hearing from their constituents who own or manage local businesses. But keep in mind that they probably know very little, if anything, about how the ATM industry works. Helping them understand our industry will help them recognize the potential impact of new regulatory measures.
Emphasize the benefits of convenient access to cash for their constituents, and consumers in general. And how that cash can boost in-store revenue, benefiting small retail merchants. Talk specifically about what your company does and its role in the industry. Always keep the conversation positive - our industry plays a very important part in the economy.
ATMIA created a "leave-behind" piece for its recent Washington DC Fly-In event. You may find it helpful in creating your talking points. Leave a copy for your representative, as it provides an excellent overview of ATMIA, the ATM industry, and several key issues. Download a copy here.
ATMIA gathers feedback on EMV migration and post-migration issues.
ATMIA recently completed a new survey to gauge the progress of EMV migration in the U.S. While the primary objective was to assess how complete EMV migration is in the ATM channel, ATMIA was also seeking feedback on post-migration issues like card and card reader problems, as well as thoughts on deployment of NFC technology, cardless solutions, and new ATM functionality.
Analysis of survey results is now available. ATMIA members can download the report from our Market Research page. Non-member participants received a code with which to claim a copy of the full report. Questions or requests for more information about the survey project should be directed to David Tente, Executive Director, ATMIA USA & Americas (+1.407.833.7906)
ATMIA in CNBC feature piece on skimming
ATMIA USA Executive Director, David Tente, recently appeared in a feature piece on ATM skimming, as part of a CNBC program called "On the Money". The segment was aimed at consumers and helping them to avoid becoming a victim.
David discussed what the industry is doing to combat the increase in skimming activity, as well as the resources that ATMIA makes available to its members - such as Best Practices on preventing skimming and physical attacks.
The real story behind eliminating Reg E fee placard requirements
Without question, the ATM industry’s most significant regulatory success has been the elimination of Reg E requirements for posting physical signage on the ATM to disclose surcharge fees - with respect to both the broad support the effort garnered and the speed with which it was accomplished.
Those requirements were relics of the days before ATMs were capable of disclosing convenience fees on the terminal screen, and requiring that the cardholder accept the fees before a transaction could be completed. It was a very typical example of laws not keeping up with technology. In addition to being duplicative and unnecessary, the placard requirement also created new opportunities for fraudsters – filing costly lawsuits against ATM operators for missing placards, even if they were missing due vandalism or removal by the fraudsters themselves.
Discussions about the need to change this law actually began with a meeting between the EFTA, which partners with ATMIA on federal regulatory matters, and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer in the summer of 2011. H.R.4367, sponsored by Congressman Luetkemeyer, was introduced in the House on April 17, 2012 and was passed on July 9, 2012 by a 371-0 margin.
Meanwhile, the Senate produced two companion bills, S. 3204 (Sen. Mike Johanns) and S. 3394 (Sen. Tim Johnson) – neither of which was even considered by the Committee on Banking. Both bills contained additional language that had little support. The first and final action on the second Senate bill, S. 3394 was its introduction on July 17, 2012.
The House bill was supported and promoted by a huge industry coalition that included ATMIA, EFTA, ETA, ABA, all state bank associations, NAFCU, state credit union leagues, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Food Marketing Institute, Merchant Advisory Group, Consumer Action, NACS, and many others. A total of 148 House co-sponsors eventually signed-on to support the measure.
After being passed by the House, H.R.4367 – “To amend the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to limit the fee disclosure requirement for an automatic teller machine to the screen of that machine” – was passed in the Senate, without amendment, by unanimous consent on December 11, 2012 and signed into law on December 20, 2012 by President Obama.
To learn more about the history of these bills, use the links above to visit the congressional archives, or download a brief summary from the ATMIA website.
Engaging with the ATM and U.S. payments industries
As part of its mission to serve as a voice for the ATM industry, ATMIA USA is actively engaged with a variety of industry and government bodies. Despite frequent predictions for the demise of cash, by a few pundits, it remains a key component of the payments ecosystem. ATMIA’s ongoing participation in these industry dialogues ensures that the needs of our industry receive appropriate consideration.
The mission of the Faster Payments Task Force is to identify and evaluate alternative approaches for implementing safe, ubiquitous, faster payments capabilities in the United States that advance the following desired outcome:
A ubiquitous, safe, faster electronic solution(s) for making a broad variety of business and personal payments, supported by a flexible and cost-effective means for payment clearing and settlement groups to settle their positions rapidly and with finality.
ATMIA was part of the Faster Payments Task Force and worked to ensure that any new payments platform can be successfully integrated into the U.S. ATM channel.
As of August 1, 2016, the EMV Migration Forum has become the U.S. Payments Forum. With much of the EMV migration process behind, the group is broadening its mission.
The EMF was formed an independent, cross-industry body by the Smart Card Alliance on July 31, 2012 to address issues that require broad cooperation and coordination across many constituents in the payments space in order to successfully introduce secure EMV contact and contactless technology in the United States.
Led by numerous members of ATMIA, a new ATM Working Committee was set up in December, 2012 and formally approved by the EMF Steering Committee shortly thereafter. The group is co-chaired by ATMIA USA Executive Director David Tente and two other ATMIA members.
The EMF also maintains a Knowledge Center as a public repository of information relative to EMV migration. Documents can be searched by Category, Stakeholder or Title. ATMIA members have been instrumental in creating the “Implementing EMV at the ATM” white paper which is available in the Knowledge Center and the ATMIA website White Papers section.
Building on tremendous feedback from Americans across our country about the theme of democracy, the Treasury Department will create new design concepts for the $20, $10, and $5 dollar notes. Find out more.
March Member of the Month: Wellington Technologies has been a processor since 1994 and a provider of owner repaired ATMs since 1999. They are committed to conducting business in a courteous, fair, open manner with the highest degree of integrity. Customers are provided with access to terminal information via online reporting services, which can be customized to their needs. Better cash management and diagnostics produce increased profits as well as savings. Wellington has been a loyal ATMIA member since 2010.
Working to protect the health & vitality of the U.S. ATM Industry. Find out how you can contribute.