Bill would okay charge for international card users

Legislation to allow businesses with independently owned ATMs to charge a fee for international card users has now cleared the Alaska House and Senate.

House Bill 44, sponsored by Rep. Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan, closes a gap in state law that has already been closed in every other state.

If signed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, the bill takes immediate effect.

HB 44 was unanimously approved in the Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 18. House members previously gave unanimous approval to the bill.

Currently, independently owned ATMs located in small, local, non-bank firms, are not allowed to charge a fee on transactions made by international cards.

“As we see more and more international visitors traveling to visit Alaska, this bill will generate money for independent ATM owners and put more money into local economies,” Ortiz said.

HB44 had support from Alaska CHARR and the National ATM Council. Alaska CHARR, Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association, is a non-profit entity serving the hospitality industry in Alaska.