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ATM Nation - We Got This (Again)

Dear NAC Members & Friends:

You know I’ve never been one to sugar coat things. This is a tough time. I’m proud of NAC for stepping up to help America’s independent retail ATM community. I’m especially proud of YOU, all our NAC members and friends – who are our true heroes – in many cases risking your own personal safety to help keep cash available for us all. I extend my deepest thanks and best wishes to you and your families, and hope you are staying safe and well during this difficult time!

For all but a few of us, the nationwide shutdown has inflicted serious financial loss and hardship. But, as we’ve seen again and again, IADs are resilient and never run away from a challenge. This is not the first time we have seen a new normal in the ATM industry. Just as we helped consumers and business owners get access to cash after 9/11, our industry is an “essential service” that once again is overcoming barriers to provide consumers with convenient, safe access to cash nationwide. 

Behind the scenes, NAC has also been collaborating with terminal manufacturers and many other industry experts to develop safety guidelines for ATM deployers and to fight baseless attacks against cash with real facts and data. Among other results, this work has helped get the WHO to disavow its initially reported warnings about using cash during the pandemic and has helped make sure ATM providers were included in the “essential services” group to continue operating wherever locations remained open.

Advocacy Funding Campaign: NAC is currently accepting donations to its war chest, to help fund the  increased needs now being required in our fights to protect the future of cash from its enemies and to battle the other make-or-break issues now confronting our industry. Your donation is critical.  Please go to the NAC Website and make your donation today. 

All contributions to our Advocacy Funding Campaign will be used to support NAC’s advocacy initiatives, including the fight to restore reasonable access to bank accounts, prosecuting our class action antitrust case against Visa/Mastercard, seeking full disclosure of bank-imposed “foreign ATM fees”, and implementing new standards for truly touchless/biometric ATM transactions. Even in the most difficult of times, we must invest in the future of our businesses, and that’s what this is all about. Thank you in advance for digging deep and for your generous support of NAC!

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Pandemic Issues: Executive Director Bruce Renard and NAC Staff, the NAC Board, NAC Committees, Working Groups and Governmental Affairs Representatives have all been working closely with national and global public health agencies, the Federal Reserve, Secret Service/Homeland Security, and Congress to protect the interests and safety of our members during the pandemic crisis. Now more than ever, it is imperative that these groups and governmental agencies understand the vital role of independent ATM operators in providing retail cash access across the U.S. and are made aware of our critical role.  This work is ongoing as Washington considers additional relief options and we press for relief on our specific issues.

Essential Workers/Small Business Relief: NAC has also been in ongoing contact with government officials to make certain our members’ ATM businesses have been included as “essential businesses” able to serve ATMs in locations that have remained open. NAC and our DC representatives have also worked to ensure that ATM companies were covered by the financial relief afforded to small businesses under the CARE Act and other federal legislation. NAC has assembled and provided to our members essential information about financial relief at local/state/federal levels, and has helped many NAC members that have faced issues with bank-imposed cash withdrawal limits and misclassifications that would have completely prevented access to SBA loans for ATM companies.

Consumer Choice: NAC has spearheaded creation of the Consumer Choice in Payments Coalition (CCPC), whose mission is to preserve the option for consumers to pay with cash at retail throughout the U.S.  A recent widely reported CCPC press release cited scientific evidence that cloth/linen-based U.S. currency is actually more germ proof and less of a transmission risk than non-porous plastic charge cards and mobile phones. This is just one example of how the CCPC is amplifying our industry’s cash related messages. As its primary mission, the CCPC will advocate for passage of The Payment Choice Act of 2019 by Congress (requiring acceptance of cash at retail nationwide), while also serving as a unified consumer/business voice regarding ongoing cash issues.

Annual NAC Conference and Expo: The NAC2020 Conference Committee has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in connection with our show planned for late October at Caesars Palace in Vegas, to ensure that the NAC2020 Conference & Expo will be able to take place safely and comfortably as planned.  Given the ongoing uncertainty of the situation, we are also working hard to ensure that we have an excellent “virtual conference & expo” available and ready to go, should health/safety circumstances prevent us from physically gathering in person.  We know how important this event has become to the fabric of ATM Nation and our collective future, please know NAC is committed to providing our industry with a great conference and expo event, whether we are together physically or digitally!   Please stay tuned for more details and the official opening of NAC2020 Registration, coming soon!

Help Keep ATM Nation & NAC Strong: As the nation begins to open up and get back to work in the coming weeks, I implore you as NAC Chair to please stay safe and careful in all you do!  As NAC Chair, I am also asking you to please find a way to financially help support NAC’s mission, now more than ever.  If you are behind in your dues to NAC, please become current.  If possible, please consider paying the remainder of your yearly NAC dues in advance.  I know that funds are precious for us all right now – but these are investments we must now collectively make, and ones that will pay important long term dividends for all our businesses.

As we saw during the Great Recession, in tough times cash is more important than ever. The post-pandemic downturn will also likely move millions more Americans into the ranks of the unbanked and underbanked who rely heavily on cash. The U.S. Independent/Retail ATM industry needs to stay strong – so we can be ready to serve the increased cash needs that will undoubtedly mark the days ahead.

God Bless You, Our Amazing NAC Members and Friends!  Thank You for Your Ongoing Support of NAC, OUR U.S. Independent/Retail ATM Trade Association, here to serve YOU!

 

Sincerely,

George Sarantopoulos

NAC Chair / CEO Access One Solutions 

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