Banking Blog

Finance Blogs » Banking Blog » ATM fee notice fades away

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.

Bankrate wants to hear from you and encourages comments. We ask that you stay on topic, respect other people's opinions, and avoid profanity, offensive statements, and illegal content. Please keep in mind that we reserve the right to (but are not obligated to) edit or delete your comments. Please avoid posting private or confidential information, and also keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

By submitting a post, you agree to be bound by Bankrate's terms of use. Please refer to Bankrate's privacy policy for more information regarding Bankrate's privacy practices.
January 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm

I smell Nobel Peace Prize again, This will be great as soon as I find A job again and have money in the bank

January 15, 2013 at 3:41 pm

use your bank only to avoid fees.

January 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm

So, how many of you still have accounts at big monster banks like Bank of America and Wells fargo? If you do then stop your whining. I am with a small local bank and also know the network of all other local banks in my area that do not charge a fee. You could do the research but then that won't give you a reason to piss and moan about those evil banks and that evil President.

john c. weeks
January 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm

The article states that only the physical sticker on the atm machine is no longer required. The question asking if you want to pay the fee or end transaction will still appear on screen. If you can read well enough to make a transaction, you then are ,'in theory', smart enough to understand the message when it appears on screen. POTUS bashing over this is indicative of brainless loathing and smells of blind bigotry.

January 15, 2013 at 3:15 pm

i think this country is going downhill all these banks are just a bunch rip offs. they dont tell you anything they are just like the goverment very corrupt and very evil people. they should post the peoples salary on line with peoples names and the bank name. its very unfair to us taxpayers that we have to pay for everything, wells fargo is another corrupt bank they charge you even for a balance inquiry even if you are a customer of theirs. they hide stuff from people just like the goverment does all corrupt and no good people ,obama isnt that good as people think he is either he,s a big put on for us all talk no action.

January 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm

How many ATM fees do you think it takes to make a bank officer's bonus? They get salary and bonus - That is what should be public.

January 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Job well done Mr.President...You are paid well for your decisions...Now what about our wages,our jobs our homesteads? This was too simple of a task,to waste our tax money on

January 15, 2013 at 10:49 am

@John Campbell

I like your idea!

But...who's to say vandals won't just start smashing in ATM screens when they get irate at the posted fee?? I bet those are more to repair than a stick on sign.

January 15, 2013 at 10:02 am

What's with the personal dialog against the President??? This is business not personal, get over yourselves! Grow up & let it go!

January 15, 2013 at 9:54 am

King Obama has spoken. Give me a break.