New Jersey's ATM Security Act, which took effect in January, does not seem to be raising any hackles in the financial services industry.

The law was drafted by a task force from the New Jersey Bankers Association and state legislators. Kurt Schaub, a spokesman for the association, said it was "very unusual to back legislation that would impose a monetary cost," but he said he hasn't received any complaints.

The association moved to enact statewide regulation rather than having each of the state's 567 municipalities draft its own.

The effort followed automated teller machine legislation in New York and other states. Bankers are looking for uniformity to make compliance easier and less costly.

"Most banks have taken ATM safety quite seriously, whether legislated or not," said Scott Strug, director of marketing for Woodcliff Lake, N.J.- based NYCE Corp. Industry shock over safety legislation in the early 1990s has worn off, he added.

Many banks have implemented ATM safety measures to protect themselves from liability in case of crime, Mr. Strug said.

Much less stringent than the measure governing ATMs in New York City, New Jersey's measure, signed into law by Gov. Christine Todd Whitman in July, gave banks six months to comply with standards for lighting, landscaping, and placing cameras in designated locations.

All cardholders with New Jersey addresses must receive copies of ATM safety precautions by this month. Signs near ATMs listing precautions are also mandated.

According to MasterCard International's State Legislative Update, Nebraska and Rhode Island are also considering ATM safety laws. MasterCard noted that the widespread growth of ATMs has put safety at the forefront of banking legislative agendas in many states. Four states adopted measures last year to improve safety around ATMs.

The Nebraska Bankers Association introduced an ATM safety bill in 1995. Ronald Sedlacek, associate general counsel for the group, said bankers support the legislation, which does not impose fines or penalties for noncompliance.

Although he said ATM crime is not prevalent in Nebraska, "there's always potential."

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