House to Vote on ATM Fee Proposal
And now for an issue near and dear to many of us: ATM usage fees.
On the docket today, the House is expected to pass an amendment eliminating the requirement for ATM operators to display signs on their machines about possible fees.
Why? Because times, they are a changin'.
Today, ATMs flash a notice on the screen alerting consumers about fees. You know, the one you begrudgingly accept in order to get your cash.
But when the Electronic Fund Transfer Act was enacted in 1999, ATM users were not as familiar with the technology, according to the bill summary.
In other words, with smaller screens and lower resolutions, people might not have realized that they would have to pay a fee. (Fee? What fee?!) So, the House of Representatives seems to be betting that we, as a nation, now know how to use ATMs.
Additionally, the summary says, the signage requirement meant that consumers could seek damages of "between $100 and $1,000 for each transaction." The law also permits class action suits to recover up to a half a million dollars, meaning that ATM operators who did not have the required notices could face a penalty of their own.
The amendment cleared the Financial Services Committee on June 27 and is expected to pass the full House as early as today.