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A small surge in the use of cash and the popularity of ATMs, especially fee-free ATMs, may be among the unintended consequences of the financial reform act that President Obama signed into law earlier this year.

That’s because the law contained an amendment sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin that mandated federal regulation of debit card transactions. The amendment’s instructions to the Federal Reserve to set an interchange rate for debit transactions drew the most credit union attention and opposition, but credit union ATM experts say other parts of the amendment could also make lasting changes in the ongoing competition between cards and cash.

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