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ATM USA's Tony Mercer Joins ATMIA on Recent Lobbying Trip to DC

Last month the ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) hosted their sixth Washington, DC Fly-in and ATM USA's Tony Mercer was there representing the company and the interests of their retail and financial institution clients.

The group meet with five Senators and four Representatives including: Mike Rounds (SD), Mike Crapo (ID), Mike Lee (UT), Jon Ossoff (GA), Ben Lujan (NM), Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO), Barry Loudermilk (GA), Deborah Ross (NC), and Andy Biggs (AZ).

"It's important as an industry, that provides vital services to consumers, that we meet with our elected officials on a regular basis. Trips to DC, like this one sponsored by ATMIA, allow industry leaders to get to know the men and women that represent us and gives us an opportunity to let them know what issues we have that could prevent consumers from having convenient cash access points in every community."

-Tony Mercer

Concerns over the rising rate of ATM crime led most of those conversations. The general consensus was that the Safe Access to Cash Act, which would establish new criminal offenses for ATM robbery and related crime, has a great deal of bipartisan support and would pass if put to a vote. The group was also informed that a Senate version of the bill may be introduced. Retail crime is receiving a lot of attention, as well, and may be helping to amplify concerns over ATM crime.

The Consumer Payment Choice Act, introduced by Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ), which would protect American currency as a form of payment for goods and services, was discussed. The groups was told that payment choice is not garnering the same level of urgency as ATM crime, but is still under serious consideration.

"Opposition to the [Payment Choice] bill takes the stance that businesses should be allowed to utilize whatever payment methods they wish," says ATMIA US Executive Director David Tente. "Our group noted that 10 states have already passed laws requiring retail merchants to accept cash for in-person transactions – and another 15 states are currently working on such legislation."

Other discussions centered around bank account closures, and Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). "I was pleased to hear that the Senate is working on a bill to forbid the creation of a US-sponsored digital currency," Mercer said. "This will ensure the future of cash." A number of states have already passed similar measures.

As far as bank account closers, Tente noted Congressman Luetkemeyer’s office informed us that an “Operation Choke Point” bill is nearly complete and expected to pass this year.


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