ATM Security & Fraud: Tools and Techniques to Mitigate Persistent Losses

Have ATMs become just another way for criminals to access cash?

Boston, MA, USA – July 12, 2004 – There are more than 370,000 ATMs in the United States�creating convenience for bank customers but also generating accessibility for criminals. Although fraud statistics have remained low, criminal activity surrounding ATMs is by no means dormant. In a new report, ATM Security & Fraud: Tools and Techniques to Mitigate Persistent Losses, Celent explores the latest challenges facing the ATM industry with respect to fraud and security. It will also propose solutions and dependable tactics for many of these challenges.

Statistics suggest that banks have been successful in preventing fraud. However, advances in technology are equipping criminals with clever ways to outwit the system and are beginning to offer them the upper hand. Schemes like skimming and Lebanese Loops continue to threaten ATM owners. Criminals are relying more on gadgets, such as micro cameras and palm pilots, for capturing data rather than on con artist stunts designed to fool the cardholder. But more important is the lack of proper authentication at the ATM and the doorway it could potentially open for criminals.

The industry is full of solutions to counter the various threats. Some are modifications that may be made to the exterior of an ATM, while others are software-based monitoring solutions. The price and level of sophistication for these products varies.

“Decisions in purchasing both hardware and services designed to tackle ATM fraud are often challenged by lack of a cost justification,” comments Ariana-Michele Moore, author of the report. “The industry has grave difficulty in measuring ATM fraud given the lack of a national classification, the secrecy surrounding such frauds, and the unfortunate fact that one cannot know the true cost of fraud until one is hit with it. Even low-cost solutions, such as customer awareness, challenge banks who fear scaring customers away from the ATM, or worse, into the doors of a competitor,” continues Moore.

Aside from revenue generation and cost savings, ATMs are becoming the face of many financial institutions. For many consumers, ATMs are becoming the only interaction they have with their banks. In addition, ATMs are also becoming a competitive mark for many banks. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that the customer�s experience with the ATM is safe and secure.

A table of contents for this 35-page report is available online.

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