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ATM fee notice fades away

By Marcie Geffner ·
Monday, January 14, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

President Barack Obama has a signed a new law that eliminates a requirement that banks, credit unions and other operators of ATMs give consumers two notices that a fee might or will be charged if they use the machine.

Until now, federal law has required one notice on the machine and a second notice on the screen or a paper printout. The new law eliminates the on-machine requirement, though the on-screen or on-paper requirement remains effective.

The on-screen or on-paper notice tells the consumer how much will be charged for each transaction at the ATM. However, this notice typically doesn't appear until after the consumer has interacted with the machine or begun a transaction. That means the consumer will have to walk away or cancel a transaction to avoid the fee after the notice is displayed.

Consumers typically can avoid ATM fees by using a machine operated by their own bank or credit union.

Industry groups generally supported and applauded the new law, which they said removed a regulation that was duplicative, costly and burdensome for banks, credit unions and independent ATM operators.

Bill Cheney, president of the Credit Union National Association, which represents credit unions, said in a statement that the physical signs on ATMs often were battered by the weather, defaced by vandals or removed by unscrupulous mischief-makers.

"With the imposition of this change in the law, credit unions will no longer be subject to penalties under federal law for not having the physical sign, even though the screens of their ATMs prominently and clearly displayed any fees for use of the machine," Cheney said.

Bruce Renard, executive director of the National ATM Council, a trade group of ATM operators, said in a separate statement that the so-called fee sticker on the machine no longer served a valid consumer purpose and instead had become the basis for a cottage industry of litigation against ATM operators.

How the change will affect pending lawsuits remains to be sorted out on a case-by-case basis in the courts, Renard said.

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff.

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Bob J.
September 04, 2013 at 11:09 am


Another shill for the Bank lobby? CUNA?

That stickers are "battered by the weather, defaced by vandals or removed by unscrupulous mischief-makers," is patently absurd. How many ATMs are outside and open to the weather? None I have ever seen. If it's defaced, it can still be "seen as there". Removed? Ever try to remove a sticker without leaving traces behind.

This is a total scam. And representatives in Government have been bought off. How about you, CWC?

People who spout such rhetoric can't be trusted. Ever travel? Many people do. Ever been in an airport and needed cash? Only using "your own bank" is a canard.

January 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm


January 15, 2013 at 8:33 pm

@Zeuriah, so you feel entitled to an ATM? It costs the bank money to maintain the machine. If you are not a customer you should pay for use. Aren't there enough entitlements already? If you don't want to pay a fee go to your own bank. Seems pretty simple.

January 15, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I feel that the Banks are getting over and it shouldn't cost anyone anything to get their hard erned money or the ppl with a fixed income . Just think how many ppl are being charged $4 for every withdrawl from any ATM.

Olde Grand Dad
January 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm

This is not an earth-shattering bill. Anyone who has an ATM card should know there will probably be a fee. It is very easy to cancel a transaction if you are unwilling to pay a fee. We have to take on some responsibilities for ourselves. Inotherwords, read the screen! This bill will save ATM operators a small amount of money, it won't make them extra money.

Bobby D
January 15, 2013 at 6:54 pm

just another way for this president to get into the pockets of people who work, pay taxes and have ATM cards and not EBT cards.....

January 15, 2013 at 6:39 pm

I rather use my Credit Union and other Credit Union Atms with no fees.. Thats the best thing Smoking!!!