A Quick Intervention by ATMIA Saves ATM Convenience Fees in State of Virginia

Thursday, March 21, 2024

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Company: ATM Industry Association

Virginia HB 1519 was sailing through the process of becoming law not quite one month ago. Its first sub-committee hearing resulted in an amendment and quick passage by the House. The stated purpose of the bill was rather innocuous. “A BILL to amend and reenact . . . the Code of Virginia, relating to fees for electronic fund transfers . . .”  The effect of the bill would have been to make ATM convenience fees illegal in the State of Virginia.

ATMs or Automated Teller Machines are not mentioned in the original language of the bill. One had to read completely through the three-page, single-spaced verbiage to the final section, which prohibits:

Charging any transaction or processing fee or similar surcharge for the purchase of a good or service through the use of an electronic fund transfer, as that term is defined in 12 C.F.R. § 1005.3.

The code referenced was a definition of EFT terminals promulgated by the CFPB – and included Automated Teller Machines.

ATMIA Executive Director, David Tente, reached out to Adam Ebbin, Chairman of the Senate General Laws and Technology Committee, which was scheduled to hold a hearing on the bill a few days later. Chairman Ebbin responded very quickly, and after a discussion of how the bill would affect access to cash in Virginia, agreed to include a “carve-out” for ATMs.

We are very pleased to announce that the amended version of the bill does include an exemption for ATM withdrawal transactions. And was passed by the Virginia Senate sub-committee.  ATMIA also thanks Senator Ebbin for his willingness to discuss the economic and financial inclusion impact of the bill’s original language.

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