Advocating For The ATM Industry: An Eye-Opening Experience

by Samir Kadi
Posted On: 8/28/2019

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INDUSTRY ADVOCATE:
Sam Kadi, chief executive of MTech
Distributors meets with Rep. Josh
Gottheimer (D-NJ) discuss the role
ATMs play in communities nationwide,
maintaining cash payment options for
consumers and the continued unjustified
closing of ATM company bank
accounts during NAC's third annual
"ATMs Go to Washington" DC fly in.

As an ATM industry professional and vendor, I have witnessed the success of independent ATM operators and the resulting widespread availability of ATMs in the U.S. But, more recently, I have seen an influx of proposed laws and regulations that pose a threat to the very businesses upon which millions of cash-dependent consumers rely.

This motivated me, for the first time, to join my ATM industry colleagues for the National ATM Council's (NAC) third annual "ATMs Go to Washington" DC fly in. Given the political news and clashes we see on social media on a daily basis, initially my expectations were not very high.

Not a particularly political guy, I had no idea how much of an effect one person or organization can have with members of Congress and their staffs. I also was not aware of how much work NAC puts into this yearly event. The amount of preparation, organization and effectiveness NAC brought to their Washington program was truly outstanding.

Together with more than 50 other ATM entrepreneurs and suppliers, I was able to meet directly with lawmakers such as Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), who represents the state where my business is located, and Kevin Dowling, Legislative Director, for Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), who represents New York -- where I live. The jam-packed agenda also included visits with members of the Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committees, including Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and his staff, Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) (prime sponsor of "Cash at Retail" legislation in the House), Senator Martha McSally (R-WA), Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), and a host of legislative staffers.

Conversations included the role ATMs play in communities nationwide, maintaining cash payment options for consumers and the continued unjustified closing of ATM company bank accounts.

NAC's annual delegation clearly has made an impact with Congressional members and their staffs. It was obvious the association's annual trips to the nation's capital have helped educate lawmakers about the ATM industry, its importance to the economics of many communities, as well as the importance of bringing cash to consumers.

In short, I was impressed and encouraged. I arrived home with a new understanding of the influence each of us can have within the political process to protect our friends, families, industry and livelihoods -- if we get involved and take action.

With a renewed energy, I have begun to take action -- reaching out to my Senators and Representatives on both the national and state level to arrange meetings and get involved. I encourage all my colleagues in the industry to do the same. Become a part of NAC and help represent the ATM industry where it matters. If we don't protect our businesses and cash access in America, who will?

SAMIR KADI is chief executive of MTech Distributors LLC. Specializing in solutions for merchants, MTech provides ATMs, merchants services and everything related to payments that a merchant needs to grow their business, increase revenue and surpass customer expectations. A graduate of City University of New York-College of Staten Island and successful entrepreneur, he also owns TECHataClick and ATM Routes for Sale. Connect with Samir via email or on LinkedIn.