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BOSTON – Attorney General Martha Coakley announced a settlement requiring national ATM operator Cardtronics Inc. to boost machine access for blind consumers. The Houston-based Cardtronics, which has more than 1,200 ATMs in Massachusetts and 23,000 nationwide, agreed to install voice guidance technology in all the ATMs its owns by mid-2008. Cardtronics has also committed that by mid-2010, 90% of all of its transactions will be voice-enabled and it will not renew contracts with merchants whose ATMs are not voice-guided. The deal also calls for Massachusetts to receive $100,000 for the Local Consumer Aid Fund, which funds consumer mediation programs. Cardtronics will also pay $900,000 to the Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind for its legal fees. The settlement resolves a 2003 lawsuit brought against E*TRADE Access, Inc. and E*Trade Bank. Cardtronics bought E*TRADE’s ATM fleet in 2004. It’s important for all members of society to have access to technologies that are integral to daily life, Coakley said. “We are pleased to have worked with the National Federation of the Blind to lead an effort that has resulted in thousands of ATMs across the country being made accessible to blind consumers,” Coakley said. “This is a significant step in enabling blind consumers to conduct key financial transactions that are instrumental to our daily lives.” In a statement, Cardtronics’ President and CEO Jack Antonini said the settlement will permit all parties to focus on improving ATM accessibility. “I share the National Federation of the Blind’s view that this settlement agreement is a significant milestone and am proud that together with the National Federation of the Blind, Cardtronics will be a leader, not a follower, in improving ATM accessibility,” Antonini said.

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