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U.S.: Visa and Mastercard Settle ATM Class Action Lawsuit for $197 Million

Categories : Cash ensures competition among payment instruments, Cash is efficient
May 31, 2024
Tags : ATM, cost of cash, Regulation, US
Visa and Mastercard will pay $197 million to settle a case brought by millions of consumers who withdrew cash from ATMs and accused the companies of anti-competitive behaviour.
Guillaume Lepecq

Chair, CashEssentials

This post is also available in: Spanish

The plaintiffs’ lawyers revealed the proposed accord on Wednesday in a filing in Washington, D.C., federal court. The settlement involves consumers who withdrew cash from bank-operated ATMs since 2007.

Visa and Mastercard have agreed to pay a combined $197 million to settle the case.  Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America previously agreed to a $66 million settlement.

The settlement came after the U.S. Supreme Court last month declined the credit card companies’ request to review the case, allowing it to continue. The settlement is subject to court approval.

It needs to be clarified what impact the settlement will have. The plaintiffs’ attorneys said the settlement would “deliver immediate and assured relief,” suggesting ATM fees might be rolled back or future increases might be limited.

The compensation might be small since there are 175 million members of the class. After the lawyers are paid, $197 million may not go that far.

Two other related class actions — one from consumers who used non-bank ATMs and a third from businesses that own independent ATMs — are pending in D.C. federal court.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of ATMs in the US peaked at 470,000 units in 2019 and has declined to 451,500 units at the end of 2022.

This post is also available in: Spanish