Obama Signs ATM Signage Bill

Protects banks, retailers from "nuisance lawsuits"

WASHINGTON -- President Obama has signed into law a bipartisan bill to eliminate the requirement that ATMs display duplicative signs disclosing their fees in an effort to reduce fraud and protect consumers.

“This law will protect consumers by cracking down on nuisance lawsuits that have been plaguing institutions and their hard working customers,” said U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (Mo.), who sponsored the bill.

Luetkemeyer filed the legislation after learning that one person in Missouri visited five ATMs and had threatened to sue over missing fee-disclosure stickers and settled the cases for more than $100,000. The Electronic Funds Transfer Association previously reported that more than 500 cases have been filed against banks, credit unions and retailers that have ATMs, and in some cases there were suspicions that an individual may have actually removed the signs on stickers from the ATMs.

Specifically, the new law amends the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) to maintain the on-screen fee notice requirement, but no longer requires operators to post the duplicative signs on or near ATMs. Luetkemeyer’s bill has received strong support from the Missouri Bankers Association and the Missouri Credit Union Association.

“I appreciate the bi-partisan support the measure has received in the House and Senate, and I want to thank the president for signing this critical measure into law,” Luetkemeyer said.

Prior to the law, ATM operators were required to post both a notice of a transaction fee on or near the ATM and provide an on-screen notice of the fee during the transaction that meant a consumer using an ATM that does not have a notice of a transaction fee posted on or near the ATM, and is charged a fee, can bring an action against the ATM operator and recover statutory damages between $100 and $1,000 for each transaction regardless of whether the consumer suffered any actual injury.