Circular
Regulation E - Electronic Fund Transfers Exemption of Certain Government-Administered EBT Programs - Effective September 15, 1997
September 3, 1997
Circular No. 10978

To All Depository Institutions, and Others Concerned, in the Second Federal Reserve District:

The following is from a statement by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:

The Federal Reserve Board has adopted amendments to its Regulation E, Electronic Fund Transfers, to carry out statutory amendments to the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. These changes become effective September 15, 1997.

The amendments to the regulation exempt certain "needs-tested" electronic benefit transfer (EBT) programs established or administered by state or local government agencies, such as the food stamp program, from requirements of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act. The modified regulatory requirements that the Board established in its 1994 rule would continue to apply to federally administered EBT programs and state and local employment-related EBT programs, such as state pension programs.

Generally, EBT programs involve the issuance of access cards and personal identification numbers to recipients of government benefits so that they can obtain their benefits through automated teller machines and point-of-sale terminals.

A copy of the amendments to Regulation E, as published in the Federal Register of August 14 is available as a file (pdf - 26kb). Additional copies may be obtained from our Public Information Department (212-720-6130). Questions on this matter may be directed to Janice A. Oser, Supervising Examiner, Compliance Examinations Department.