Following the lead of numerous municipalities and some states, New York's Westchester County has passed a law that sets minimum security standards for automated teller machines.

The Westchester legislation, which strives to reduce the number of crimes against ATM customers, was approved last week, only days after Chicago passed its ATM security ordinance. Beginning July 1, the 150 ATM sites in Westchester County must have full-motion security cameras and adequate lighting.

In addition, financial institutions operating ATMs in the county, which is just north of New York City, must Provide their cardholders with basic ATM safety information.

The law, which was passed by the Westchester County Board of Legislators, is patterned after New York City ATM legislation that became law in 1992.

Unlike their counterparts in New York City, Westchester legislators have no immediate plans to require upgrades to the door locks that regulate entry into ATM sites.

Call for Flexibility

Bankers in New York reported that compliance with their city's law cost $15,000 to $17,000 per ATM site, excluding pending upgrades an door locks.

Representatives from the New York State Bankers Association, based in New York City, indicated that some new requirements may be added to the law in the future. But for now, the law will stick to the basics of ATM security.

"As banks increasingly participate in shared network arrangements, it is important that local ATM safety legislation be flexible to avoid interfering with New York statewide or even nationwide safety initiatives," said Michael P. Smith, executive vice president at the New York association.

The Westchester County legislation accomplishes this, he said.

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