Approximately 1,500 New Registrations for Non-Bank ATMs following a statewide investigation by the Patrick-Murray Administration
December announcement by Division of Banks leads to flood of applications
There are now about 7,000 registered non-bank ATMs in Massachusetts with 90 applications pending, up from about 5,600 on Dec. 20, 2010, when the Division of Banks announced the results of a statewide survey that found 317 non-bank ATMs operating without proper registration.
"This survey has proven to be a great educational effort not just for consumers, but for non-bank ATM owners who learned they needed to get their machines registered," said David Cotney, Commissioner of the Division of Banks. "The survey and the following response improve consumer protection across the state when it comes to using ATMs not associated with banks."
Non-bank ATMs are typically located in areas such as convenience stores or service stations. A potential operator must apply for registration with the Division of Banks, pay a $55 annual fee, and include information regarding the machine's ownership, security provisions, proposed surcharges and more. ATMs can be operated by any registered entity, and can be found for sale rather easily through retailers found online and Websites like Craigslist and e-Bay.
The Division of Banks survey found 317 unregistered ATMs, and the Division issued cease-activity notices on Dec. 8 to each location. Since then, 201 of those ATMs have been registered, with 10 more applications pending.
ATMs are required to display the amounts of any surcharge and the right of a consumer to cancel a transaction prior to being assessed a fee. Although systematic violations of these disclosure requirements were not found during the Division's inspections of the non-bank ATMs currently authorized to conduct business.
"Using an ATM is a financial transaction for consumers, and consumers need to know they are using a machine that is safe and secure, and includes fee and contact information," said Barbara Anthony, the Undersecretary of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. "More ATMs are registered than ever before, and that is good news for consumers in Massachusetts."
Consumers are advised to check the Division's listing of locations authorized to establish and operate non-bank ATMs. Consumers who have a complaint or concern with a non-bank ATM may contact the Division's Consumer Hotline at 1-800-495-BANK (2265), extension 501.
Consumers should contact their bank or credit union for a list of the institutions' ATM locations. Customers of banks and credit unions that are members of the SUM Network can also avoid ATM surcharge fees by using an ATM that is part of the SUM network.
The Division of Banks oversees state-chartered banks and credit unions, check cashers, debt collectors, foreign transmittal agencies, mortgage lenders, and mortgage brokers, and is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. Follow the Office at www.mass.gov/consumer, its Consumer Connections Blog and at its Twitter feed, @Mass_Consumer.