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ABA: The American Bankers Association

Telephone Consumer Protection Act

The TCPA prohibits, with limited exceptions, telephone calls to residential lines and calls and text messages to mobile phones using an automatic telephone dialing system (autodialer) unless the caller has the prior express consent of the called party.​​​​

Banks regularly seek to send time-critical, non-telemarketing communications to large numbers of customers promptly, including suspicious activity alerts, data security breach notifications, low balance and over-limit transaction alerts, delinquency notifications, and loan modification outreach. Only automated calling – not manual dialing by live agents – can reach customers in a timely and efficient manner.

In Facebook v. Duguid, the Supreme Court the Court interpreted the autodialer definition to have a narrow application, consistent with the text of the statute. To qualify as an autodialer, “a device must have the capacity either to store a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator or to produce a telephone number using a random or sequential number generator.” This holding has promoted the use of efficient, effective, and modern communications between businesses and their customers, and provided businesses with greater certainty as to the scope of calls restricted by the TCPA.

Today, the FCC is increasingly focused on providing incentives for voice service providers to ensure all outbound calls are authenticated and that illegal calls are blocked. To prevent bad actors from illegally spoofing banks’ calling numbers, ABA has urged the FCC to expand its call authentication requirements to cover all voice service networks. At the same time, ABA has urged the FCC to protect the ability of banks and other lawful callers to complete calls to their customers, by requiring providers to provide notification of blocking and prompt redress for erroneously blocked calls.

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Jonathan Thessin

Jonathan Thessin

Vice President & Senior Counsel, Regulatory Compliance and Policy

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