Banks take measures to stop ATM frauds

 But along with the ease of banking, usage of ATMs has also attracted fraudsters who trick gullible ATM users and usurp their money. Faced with many complains of such fraudulent activities, banks are now strengthening their ATM technology and also create customer awareness campaigns.

Technology support

The State Bank of Mysore (SBM) and Corporation Bank, for example, have taken several steps to prevent frauds at their ATM centres. In all SBM ATMs, the card users will soon find that they have to decide the exact operation they want to do within 5 seconds, as opposed to 60 seconds earlier, after the options are displayed. This means that within 5 seconds, a user will have to select the operation from the multiple choices like cash withdrawal, balance enquiry, mini account statement, change of PIN, etc  or else the choices will be deactivated and the user will have to swipe the card and enter the PIN again.

Talking to Deccan Herald, SBM General Manager (Technology) & Chief Risk Officer A K Basu said, “The five second limit will help deter fraudsters who sometime use the activated system on the pretext of helping a customer. We understand that this will be a bit inconvenient but people will get used to it.”

SBM and Corporation Bank have also introduced a new system which will make it necessary to swipe the card for every transaction on an ATM. This means that once a person has done a transaction, say withdrawn money, he will have to swipe the card and enter PIN again for the next transaction, say to get an account statement or to withdraw money again. Earlier, one could do multiple transactions in one exposure. Explained Corporation Bank General Manager (IT) B R Bhat: “We got many complaints that after a customer had withdrawn money with assistance from an unsolicited stranger, who is actually a fraudster, his logged-on status on ATM have been used to draw cash again.” Re-swiping for every transaction will eliminate such possibilities, he said.

Both banks are also upgrading all ATM machines to new ones where one need not keep the card in the slot during the transaction. In SBM’s new ATMs, one can just ‘dip’ the card and pull it out and in Corporation Banks’ new machines one will have to swipe the card the way credit cards are swiped in merchant outlets. This will eliminate 2 problems: cards won’t fall in wrong hands if a user leaves it in ATMs and cards will not be ceased (eaten up) by ATM machines in case of repeated wrong entry of PIN, Bhat explained.

As an additional safety feature, SBM’s ATM machines will now ask users to enter a 2-digit random number of their choice from 10 to 99 before swiping the card. If the keyboard of the machines is fault-free and not tampered with, the ATM will tell the user to go ahead with card swiping.

Yet another safety feature introduced by SBM is that in each transaction a user will be allowed to withdraw a maximum of Rs 10,000. For any additional amount one will have to re-swipe and re-enter the PIN. “This will limit a fraudulent withdrawal to a maximum of Rs 10,000 and control the damage. Earlier one could withdraw a maximum of Rs 40,000,” Basu said.

Apart from making the ATMs technologically more robust against frauds, banks are also planning major “customer awareness” campaigns. Banks have put up prominent displays in their branches and also in ATM kiosks on ‘Dos and Donts’ for the customers. In addition, SBM is also planning to run media campaigns to educate people.

New ATM safety initiatives

*Time to select an activity reduced to 5 seconds from 60
*For every transaction one will have to re-swipe card and re-enter PIN
*Cards are to be swiped or dipped instead of keeping them in the slot
*Two digit security number will ensure the ATM keypad is not tampered
*Rs 10,000 is maximum cash withdrawal limit in one transaction
* CCTVs in each ATMs for 24 hours surveillance

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