FCC Grants Most of ABA Petition on Mobile Alerts

The Federal Communications Commission today granted the bulk of a petition ABA filed last October urging the FCC to exempt time-sensitive calls and texts from restrictions on certain mobile alerts.

In clarifying the application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s restrictions on autodialed calls and texts, the FCC affirmed that “prior express consent” is not required for autodialed calls to alert bank customers to fraudulent transactions and data breaches.

“Granting the majority of items on ABA’s petition is a big win for consumers,” ABA President and CEO Frank Keating said in a statement. “Exempting data breach and fraud alerts from outdated regulatory restrictions on calls and texts to mobile devices is critical to effective fraud prevention. Text messages and calls to mobile phones can reach people wherever they are, enabling customers and financial institutions to react promptly to stop fraudulent transactions and respond to data security breaches.”

The FCC action was part of a broad ruling on several complaints and nearly two dozen petitions. While ABA’s was one of the very few petitions to see success, others — such as petitions seeking clarification regarding the definitions of “autodialer,” “capacity” and “intended recipient” — were also of concern to the banking industry. “We will continue to work with the FCC and policy makers on other aspects of consumer relief where the Commission chose not to take action at this time,” Keating said.

For more information, contact ABA’s Jonathan Thessin.