Operation Choke Point, the Obama-era regulatory program intended to clamp down on a variety of shady business banking schemes, will be shut down, according to news from the Justice Department on Friday Aug. 18. Members from the AMOA, AAMA and National ATM Council, as well as multiple other industry associations, have been lobbying for the policy’s end since its strains on business became apparent.
The program went into effect in 2013, and was intended to root out fraud and money-laundering by banks and depositors and disallow payment processors seeking to enable wrongdoing merchants (which it was successful in combating).
The unintended consequence was that multitudes of small business were caught up in the wide-reaching net, forcing many to manage their cash and the livelihood of their business using multiple bank accounts.
Enforcement of Operation Choke Point was supposedly suspended in January, but numerous ATM operators continued to report unfair closures to RePlay, AMOA and others up until last month.