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Does This Mean We Will Be Getting a Pepper Spray Fee?

posted by Bob Lawless

ATM theft in South Africa has gotten so bad that some ATMs are being weaponized with pepper spray to deter thieves. If the ATM detects someone trying to tamper with it, the spray is released. These ATMs apparently can spray not only would-be bad guys but also hapless ATM technicians who are just trying to fix the darn thing. In the technician incident, the spray spread through the shopping mall where the ATM was located.

Pepper spray in ATMs -- what could go wrong there? If this idea comes to the United States, I can just see it now on my bank statement: "$20.00 -- Pepper Spray Fee."

Hat tip to my colleague, Andy Morriss, for pointing me toward this story.


Although not pepper spray related - this is a hot topic:

Friday, the Fifth Circuit has joined the Eighth (Frederickson) and the Tenth (Lanning) in finding "projected disposable income" to be forward looking in Chapter 13s:


Take that Kagenveama! (I hate unpronouncable authority. You hear me, Kawaauhau? I'm talkin' to you.)

In the US, it'd be a Taser.

I accidently mis-typed my PIN today
and was then drenched with pepper spray.
If I put my card in backwards tomorrow
A quick taser shot will add to my sorrow.

But someday that pain will finally go away
unlike the spray-shot fees I'll have to pay.
The felony charges will probably be dropped
It's compound interest that's never stopped.

After the Fifth Circuit's decision in Nowlin on Friday, we get Turner out of the 7th Circuit (Posner writing the opinion) also holding that projected disposable income is forward looking, this time, on the expenses of surrendered real estate.


Sorry to gum up this important pepper spray issue....

That Turner link doesn't work and appears to change - so here is a link to the link to the Turner opinion that looks stable:


Come on Bob. What kind of a bank are you running? Some do-gooder credit union or community bank? If you ever want to become too-big-to-fail, you're going to have to do better than a simple pepper spray fee. At lest tack on separate pepper spray reloading and maintenance fees. But why stop there? There's more you can do. How about this for starters:

ATM Security Fee: $1.99/ATM transaction (defining ATM transaction as every time you do a separate operation on the ATM) plus an $4.99/monthly fee regardless of usage
ATM Monitoring Fee: $2.99/month plus $.99/withdrawal
ATM Privacy Maintenance Fee: $.99/month plus $.99/transaction (as defined above)
ATM Balance Check Fee (for checking your balance at the ATM): $.99
ATM PIN Code Fee: $.99/transaction (for using a PIN to access the ATM)

(I've made a much longer such a list for credit cards, but don't dare post it... we'd be far more likely to see the fees implemented with credit cards than with ATMs.)

As for the inevitable torts that will result from erroneous pepper spray and tasering, I wonder if the OCC will claim preemption on those... (yes, I know, the OCC preemption regs have a tort carve-out, but preventing ATM theft is a matter of bank safety-and-soundness).

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