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NAC Sends Open Letter to VISA Requesting ATM Locator Service Be Free or Optional for ATM Providers

BY ELECTRONIC MAIL TRANSMISSION
Mr. Clinton G. Cheng,
Senior Business Development Leader,
Global ATM Network
VISA, Inc.
clcheng@visa.com

RE: Open Letter From NAC To VISA Regarding ATM Locator Service

Dear Clinton:


This letter is written to VISA, in care of you as its representative, by The National ATM Council, Inc. ("NAC") on behalf of NAC members and the U.S. retail ATM community as a whole, to request that VISA immediately rescind, revoke or make optional its recently introduced Global ATM Locator Fee ("Locator Fee"). This fee is presumably related to having the subject ATMs included on VISA's ATM location mapping service - a website that maps ATMs in a geographic area designated by the cardholder - thereby facilitating VISA and the issuer's customer being able to find convenient ATMs. VISA's Locator service has been in place for some period of time with no charge imposed upon ATM ISOs, and similar locator services provided by other transaction networks carry no such mandatory charges today. Imposition of the Locator Fee is entirely unwarranted, especially at a time when VISA is already placing a significant financial burden upon this industry sector in the form of costs associated with an unprecedented and unilaterally imposed EMV liability shift.


Our members' ATMs are serving citizens across America in thousands of areas, including many socially and economically challenged urban and rural areas where banks have chosen not to deploy ATMs, thereby making ATMs available to urban and small rural communities where this nation's un-banked and under-banked citizens live and work. Yet, the collective policies undertaken by VISA over the recent past - in the form of steep increases in network fees and resulting cuts in net interchange payments to non-bank ATM providers, heavy costs of EMV upgrades/replacements, and most recently imposition of the new mandatory Global ATM Locator Fees - threaten to eradicate the many small businesses that comprise the independent ATM sector in the U.S. and provide a majority of America's ATMs. As such, NAC respectfully asks that VISA reconsider these policies, starting with a roll back of the Locator Fee.


The Locator Fee represents a material new and unsupported cost for our nation's retail ATM ISOs - a cost that should instead be borne by VISA and the issuers, since the service provides direct and tangible benefits to customers of VISA and the financial institutions. VISA's refusal to eliminate the Locator Fee, or at least make it optional for ATM providers, only serves to demonstrate VISA's market power and dominance in being able to unilaterally impose such unjustified charges on independent ATM providers.

America's retail ATMs now account for a majority of cash outlets in this country. These terminals provide valuable services to millions of Americans who rely on retail ATMs for their daily cash needs. The vast U.S. populace that our members are privileged to serve still needs and wants to use cash - and they need retail ATMs to remain in place on a widespread basis for continued convenient and reasonable access to that cash.


NAC respectfully requests that VISA reevaluate and modify these policies which collectively appear to be designed to squeeze independent ATM providers out of business. Instead, we would ask that VISA focus upon independent ATMs as important ongoing outlets for the convenient execution of cash transactions by VISA cardholders, thus helping ensure continued widespread access to cash across the U.S. With consumer spending a linchpin of our current U.S. economy, this access is more vital than ever. VISA can demonstrate a heightened recognition of these factors by eliminating or making optional the ATM Locator Fee at the earliest opportunity.


NAC appreciates VISA's consideration of this important request.

Sincerely Yours,

THE NATIONAL ATM COUNCIL, INC.


From the Industry

Dear Bruce,
I would also like to add a couple of responses to your well written response to the Visa ATM locator fee. Visa claims that this will help to locate your ATMs on the system. Simply test this yourself; you will find that a Google search or Siri voice search for "Nearest ATM Locations" will bring up popular Search results of ATMs, not necessarily Visa ATM searches. I asked Visa how it is possible that these voice searches do not bring up significant Visa locations and they said that the card holder would have to go to the Visa website and download the ATM locator application in order to make it appear on their handheld mobile device such as a cell phone. Can you imagine taking the time to download yet another application on your phone just to find an ATM nearby? What nonsense, when a person can simply do a Siri or Google search on their own. It simply does not work and it is a misrepresentation to call it an ATM locator fee.
Jim Small
ATM Network of FL & HI

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