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Maryland ATM Law- Headache Material!

We managed to catch Ray Ellis, Vice President and Security Manager of First Union National Bank in Roanoke, VA at his desk this week. We wanted to ask Ray, who is one of the most knowledgeable ATM experts in the country, what the story was with the ATM legislation in Maryland. It sounds pretty tough. As usual, he was able to help us.

Thanks, Ray, from BANKERS' HOTLINE for the update.

Eight states have enacted ATM laws-California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Georgia, Alabama, Maryland, and Florida. Florida is the latest, with their law to go into effect on October 1 of this year.

Many of the states have wording in the text of the law that requires the financial institution to contact its ATM "access device" holders (that's the government's way of saying ATM card holders). Many of them read, as Florida's does, "Customers receiving access devices shall be furnished by the respective issuers thereof with such information regarding safety precautions as the department may require by rule." It goes on to say you must deliver such a notice to each card holding household.Maryland is much more specific with their law. Theirs reads: "...(5) The issuer of an access device shall be deemed to be in compliance with the notice requirement of this subsection if the issuer advises the customer to:
(I) be aware of the customer's surroundings when using an automated teller machine, particularly during the hours of darkness;
(II) be accompanied by another person when using an automated teller machine during the hours of darkness;
(III) refrain from displaying cash, place cash in a pocket as soon as a transaction is completed, and count cash in the safety of a locked enclosure, such as a car or home;
(IV) use another automated teller machine or return at a later time if anything suspicious is noticed;
(V) cancel a transaction, place the access device in a pocket, and leave if anything suspicious is noticed when using an automated teller machine; and
(VI) immediately report all crimes to the operator of the automated teller machine and to local law enforcement officials."

In order to comply with Maryland's laws, all six of these pieces of advice would have to be in the notice given to the customer when they received their automatic teller machine card (access device!)Because many of today's financial institutions have offices in other states, the possibility exists that Maryland law could affect the ATM notices of a west coast banking corporation if they had ATMs in Maryland.

There are 42 states to go. Sounds like an interesting job coming up for the writers of policies, procedures and notices.

Copyright © 1994 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 5, No. 2, 9/94

First published on 09/01/1994

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