EFTS: Consumer Protection Under the UCC

In view of the economic significance of the payments system, the laws governing it must be equitable and comprehensive. The development of the commercial law applicable to EFTS’s, however, currently lags behind the growth of these systems. Threats to the integrity of EFTS’s stem from lost, stolen, or forged access cards, illegal taps into communication lines, physical impairment of the equipment, or improper programming. The legal rights and liabilities of consumers where the integrity of an EFTS has been breached remains unclear, in part because the status of EFTS’s under current law is uncertain. The rights of the parties involved in an EFTS transaction must be clearly delineated while the EFTS is in the developmental stage in order to avoid exposing the consumer to undue financial risks and to promote the orderly and rational development of these systems. This article analyzes the applicability of present commercial law to EFTS transactions and suggests legal safeguards for consumer EFTS rights and liabilities within the context of the Uniform Commercial Code.