Do We Still Need Fee-Disclosure Placards On ATMs?

Back in 1999, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act began requiring that ATMs provide two separate disclosures of associated fees — one on the ATM screen before the transaction is confirmed and a second placard placed in a conspicuous location on the ATM itself. Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the EFTA that would eliminate the placard requirement.

The legislation, introduced by Representatives Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri and David Scott of Georgia argues that technology — and consumers’ familiarities with ATMs — has gotten to the point where the placard is no longer needed:

Because ATM screens were smaller and had lower resolutions in 1999, Congress required ATM operators to display fee notices to consumers both on the ATM screen and in a prominent location on the machine itself. Today, ATMs are more prominent and better understood, screens are much larger, and they display sharper images. Also, unlike before, when many ATMs were not capable of providing the notice on the monitor, every ATM can notify consumers of possible fees today.

The legislators also claim that the placard requirement has led to problems for banks and ATM operators, who face huge fines if the sign goes missing. Additionally, consumers can sue for damages of anywhere from $100 to $1,000 per transaction if they use an ATM without a placard. The bill’s sponsors say that this has led to some people deliberately removing the placards so they can later file a lawsuit.

“Without this legislation, ATM operators may be forced to raise fees or reduce the number of ATMs,” reads the bill.

We wanted to know from y’all whether or not the fee-disclosure placard is still needed:

U.S. House approves bill eliminating ATM fee placard requirement [Birmingham News]

Thanks to Anderson for the tip!