Image is everything: A case for reliable ATM antiskimming solutions

| by Marvin Bowers
Image is everything: A case for reliable ATM antiskimming solutions

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Skimming is one of the most prominent threats in our industry and there is a substantial amount of information available that explains how different types of skimming work and the different methods used to combat each type.

Of course, we all know and believe that the consumer needs protection from skimming. In providing it, financial institutions suffered more than $2.5 billion in losses from skimming just last year.

These facts alone should be enough to motivate ISOs and financial institutions to secure their equipment.

Today, however, I want to discuss an additional result of skimming: the erosion of an FI's brand.

Protect your FI's brand

Almost every single day, I end up with a few alerts in my email or an update from one of the websites that track ATM and other forms of cyberfraud. Almost every one of those articles includes a photo or video of some well-branded, well-lit ATM with the FI’s logo all over it.

This should be a concern for any institution. And that is true for FIs of all sizes. In rural locations where there are multiple small institutions, if one gets skimmed consumers see it in the news and they tend to simply move their money across the street to the other guys.

I heard in one of the breakout sessions at the recent ATMIA conference that when customers are faced with a situation in which their account is compromised because of fraud, more than 70 percent of the time, they move their money.

This is a huge statistic — especially in small town America. And, by the way, it is a myth that skimming only occurs in urban areas. We see attacks all the time in less populated locations.

Think about it: Financial institutions are spending millions to enhance their brand, evolve their branches and increase their touch points in the market. Bank of America announced just days ago that they are planning to open 500 new branches.

Does it really make sense to leave ATMs unprotected only to see a local reporter on the news the next evening standing in front of the newly branded ATM and talking about how many cards were compromised at this bank?

I think we can all agree on the answer. So … what should you look for in an antiskimming solution?

Five simple things

  1. The product must work. There are many so-called "solutions" in the marketplace that simply do not do what they advertise. A complete solution will live up to its claims and will include an option to protect against deep insert and periscope skimming.
  2. The product must be easy to install. This one is self-explanatory, but so many antiskimming modules are just overly complicated.
  3. The product must be easy to maintain.
  4. The product must utilize both detection and jamming technology. One or the other is just not enough.
  5. The product cannot produce so many false alarms that uptime is affected negatively.

A bit more regarding false alarms: Most antiskimming units for sale today create so many false alarms and other issues for providers that they end up disconnecting the units in order to avoid SLA penalties.

As I have mentioned in prior posts, there is a way to have all the five things above and maintain the SLA required by the financial institution. Read more on this topic here.

Topics: Security

Companies: ACG | Industry Leading Quality, Service & Solutions

Marvin Bowers

Marvin Bowers has been a sales leader in financial technology since 2001. His passion for helping companies and Fis through learning and consultation is evident in the industry coverage he provides. Marvin is the VP of Global Sales for ACG and lives in the mountains of north Georgia with his family.

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