New York City Banks Close ATMs Early
Banks, including Chase, TD Bank, Citi, and Citizens, have closed 24-hour ATMs in New York City as early as 10 or 11 PM to keep out homeless people since the summer of 2022. Some banks have hired security guards to sit inside vestibules in the early evening.
- “We decide[d] to close several ATM vestibules at 5 PM or 6 PM, aligning the hours of service to that of normal branch hours, due to rising crime and vagrancy that occurred in these previously 24/7 vestibules,” tweeted Chase Bank, in response to a frustrated customer.
- “We have temporarily closed some ATM vestibules overnight at certain New York City branch locations where we have seen repeat activity that could present a potentially dangerous situation for our customers or colleagues,” said Eleni Garbis, a spokesperson for Citizens.
- “Unfortunately, the private customers of ATM systems during off hours will be the collateral damage,” said Matt Roberts, president of a precinct community council in Midtown East.
New Yorkers disapprove of the banks’ decision to reduce ATM operation hours:
- “I find it frustrating and inconvenient, because I expect a certain level of service that comes with being a customer, and one of the expectations is being able to access my moneyFrom the Latin word moneta, nickname that was given by Romans to the goddess Juno because there was a minting workshop next to her temple. Money is any item that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular region, country or socio-economic context. Its onset dates back to the origins of humanity and its physical representation has taken on very varied forms until the appearance of metal coins. The banknote, a typical representati... More at any time. Given NYC has a reputation of being a 24/7 city, having ATMs close at 10 PM makes no sense,” said Sunny Ng, a Chase customer.
- “If ATMs aren’t available when the bank is closed, what’s the point?? Given your bigshots’ salaries there’s clearly room for security where it’s deemed required,” tweeted Janet Gottlieb (@BoogieDownGal).
Contactless Payments: “It’s OMNY Time”
In 2019, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) launched OMNY (One Metro New York). This new contactless paymentA transfer of funds which discharges an obligation on the part of a payer vis-à-vis a payee. More platform allows riders of buses and subways to pay for transit with the tap of a credit card, debit card, or smartphone when they board.
The solution is similar to South Korea’s U-Pass (launched in 1995), Hong Kong’s Octopus card (1997), London’s Oyster card (2003), and Chicago’s Ventra (2013). OMNY will be mandatory sometime in 2024, when the MetroCard is phased out.
OMNY readers already operate at all 472 subway stations and all MTA buses. As of February 2022, 23% of all subway and bus riders paid using OMNY, and less than 1% of those riders used the physical OMNY card.
The MTA expects OMNY to reduce the amount of cashMoney in physical form such as banknotes and coins. More it receives from the public. In 2019, the MTA collected $1.5 billion in transit fares in cash and claimed to have spent 13% of that amount on processing, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).
The MTA stopped accepting cash at subway booths for safety and health reasons related to the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.
- “There are thousands of ways customers can use cash to purchase MetroCards, including every single subway station where machines accept cash,” said Tim Minton, a spokesperson for the MTA.
- “The MTA says that cash will still be accepted at ticket vending machines, but these machines are constantly broken, so it’s important to have built-in redundancy. Vulnerable populations that rely on transit may also prefer to interact with a person who could provide more assistance than a machine,” said Liam Blank, a spokesperson for Tri-State Transportation Campaign.
Concerns: Consumers’ Choice, Privacy, Contingency
“Please rest assured we will not retire MetroCard until we figure this out. We are committed to cash. We will always be committed to cash. And we will make sure this system is fully operational before we retire anything.” – Sarah Meyer, MTA chief customer officer
OMNY tracks and stores users’ travel information for seven days (unregistered users) and up to 12 months (for registered users), creating concerns about riders’ privacy:
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