ABA Wins All Four Mobile Alert Exemptions Sought from FCC

The Federal Communications Commission on Friday released the formal order from its June 18 meeting, which addressed several petitions for clarification and declaratory ruling under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. In its order, the FCC granted all four petitions made by ABA last fall to exempt certain time-sensitive texts and calls that banks make to their customers.

According to the order, financial institutions may send automated, free texts and voice messages without first obtaining the recipient’s prior express consent if the messages concern proposed transactions that present a risk of fraud or identity theft; possible breaches of customers’ personal information; steps customers can take to prevent or remedy harm caused by a data breach; or actions needed to complete a pending money transfer.

“Bankers everywhere can be pleased that the FCC granted every item in ABA’s petition,” said ABA SVP Ginny O’Neill, who noted that the FCC granted few other petitions. “As a result, bank customers can receive urgent fraud, data breach and money transfer alerts in a convenient, timely way.”

The FCC order placed limitations on financial institutions’ use of these alerts, including requiring an opt-out mechanism and capping the number of messages that can be sent in a particular period of time. An ABA bank members-only staff analysis covers these exceptions, as well as other rulings in the FCC’s order. For more information, contact ABA’s Jonathan Thessin.