The National ATM Council (NAC) and the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) will pursue a joint campaign aimed at ending what is widely viewed as an epidemic of unwarranted bank account closures and new account denials of ATM independent operators.
The two organizations recently signed a memorandum of understanding that paves the way for them to share resources, ideas, information and plans to combat this issue in a segment of the domestic U.S. market that accounts for well over half the ATMs currently deployed throughout the nation.
The bank account closure and denial crisis has continued in the wake of the ill-advised Operation Choke Point. Launched by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2013, the program was officially terminated in 2017. However, as independent ATM operators have noted, the program’s more harmful effects continue to be felt throughout the industry.
“NAC is excited to be working with ATMIA in our fight to restore reasonable access to the U.S. banking system for America’s Independent ATM providers,” said NAC executive director, Bruce Wayne Renard. “Working together I am hopeful we can reverse the current misperceptions that ATM companies are ‘high-risk’ accounts, and instead restore an understanding that ATM providers are in fact bank-sponsored and heavily vetted businesses, whose vault cash is inherently trackable as part of the simple, cyclical, closed-loop, and highly transparent ‘financial settlements’ process to which it is subject.”
Both associations are in the process of formulating a joint action plan and exchanging essential resources to redouble their respective advocacy efforts to promptly end the bank account closures and new account denials.
As another initial step in this initiative, ATMIA and NAC are also coordinating parallel ATM industry surveys to gather the most current and comprehensive data available on the full scope and nature of the problem.
“The ATM Industry Association strongly opposes any arbitrary bank account closures in the vital independent retail ATM market, as this sector is crucial to the circulation of cash throughout the U.S. economy and to the daily operation of thousands of businesses,” explained Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA, who penned the agreement with Renard. “I’m delighted and honored to partner with NAC to eradicate all the lingering impacts of Choke Point. This is our top U.S. industry issue today.”