Due to major and unexpected shifts in our economy and ongoing legislative developments, the past couple of years have resulted in an increase in regulatory and network challenges for the financial-services industry in the U.S., ranging from the Harkin Amendment, Dodd-Frank and ADA to interchange reduction.
As a result, ATMIA created the U.S. Defense Fund to help aid in efforts to protect and positively shape the future of the ATM industry.
Did you know that the U.S. Defense Fund has aided in efforts to oppose the Durbin Amendment? This amendment was originally set to take place starting July 21, with restrictions imposed on debit card interchange fees to a maximum 12 cent fee.
As it stands, the Federal Reserve’s final ruling imposes an interchange fee cap of 21 cents per transaction and five basis points multiplied by the value of the transaction, which would go into effect October 1. ATMIA is continuing to play a strong role in trying to convince the Federal Reserve to rule under Durbin that ATM owners can choose among networks to route transactions that pay the most optimal interchange fees.
This year has turned into a decisive year that finds the ATM industry bound together to create one collective voice and work actively to defend and accurately represent the industry among government agencies such as the Federal Reserve Bank, the Federal Reserve Board, the newly established Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Additionally, the U.S. Defense Fund has been used to fund work on state and local levels to oppose ATM surcharge caps, as well as to prepare for ADA compliance in 2012, where the fund has been crucial in helping lobby the Justice Department for a five-year “safe harbor” to postpone meeting compliance requirements.
ATMIA will also continue to petition U.S. government agencies to end requirements that ATMs have surcharge notice decals on ATMs.
A true grassroots effort took place in 2010 when the ATM industry rallied together with ATMIA in opposition to the Harkin Amendment that proposed capping ATM surcharge fees to 50 cents. The effort took on a new twist by recruiting merchants who joined the industry efforts to maximize on the benefits that ATMs provide their customers.
As an ATMIA board member, I strongly encourage IADs and ATM operators to become involved with ATMIA and the U.S. Defense Fund, and pledge their support and participation. A well-funded U.S. Defense Fund will enable ATMIA to work for the benefit of our industry and to defend legislation and causes.
The ATMIA U.S. IAD committee leaders asked Tim Matthews of Grant Victor (the parent company of ATMequipment.com) to lead this year’s fundraising effort.
Matthews said, “It is imperative that we all work together to sustain the viability of our industry in the U.S. I am reaching out to all industry participants to pledge their financial assistance and support. As Grant Victor companies, we fully support ATMIA’s leadership efforts and have pledged our support to the U.S. ATMIA Defense Fund.”
It is essential that we collectively work together to further develop and strengthen the ATM industry in the U.S. Doing so strengthens the industry and ensures we have the means to be successful in our respective businesses.
It’s been a pleasure to work with our fellow members, IADs and industry businesses who continue to support ATMIA’s U.S. Defense Fund. To find out more about the U.S. Defense Fund, additional information can be found at www.atmia.com/unitedstates/usdefensefund/.
Alicia Ridley is the president of ATMequipment.com, North America’s leading wholesale supplier of retail ATM machines, parts, supplies, and repair services. The company provides ATM operators with superior customer service and one-stop shopping for all ATM needs.