Mobile Commerce

Massachusetts Bill Would Require Added ATM Security Measures

A state lawmaker in Massachusetts reportedly has introduced a bill that would require banks to install added security measures at their ATMs, and representatives for both the ATM and banking industries are fighting it.


Reacting to acts of violence occurring near ATMs, the lawmaker, State Sen. Brian Joyce, filed the bill, which would require banks to deploy adequate lighting, functional card-activated doors, transparent glass, interior mirrors, and a panic button or 911 phone to contact law enforcement, reports


In the article, Todd McEwan, president of New England ATM LLC, called the bill “misguided,” and he contended the use of a 911 phone could overwhelm police.


“I would estimate there is somewhere around 25,000 ATMs in Massachusetts. If only 2 percent of these ATMs had a ‘prank’ activation or accidental activation, each day … we are looking at 500 extra calls to police each day,” he said. “This would overwhelm municipalities and cost possible lives. No other industry that I know of requires an emergency button or phone to be placed.”


The Massachusetts Bankers Association also opposes the legislation, as spokesperson Bruce E. Spitzer contended in the article the legislation won’t be effective. Moreover, he took issue with the bill because it only applies to ATMs in banks, not those deployed in convenience stores, bars or restaurants.


ATM security has been a point of contention among lawmakers and ATM deployers for years. But it also has paved the way for innovation as a solution. ATM manufacturer Diebold Inc., for example, last month announced a new mobile-based ATM that enables consumers to complete transactions without using physical debit or credit cards.


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