Additional security at ATMs


What’s a regular feature in newspapers these days, is the increasing incidence of young people being stopped, late at night on city roads and taken at knife-point to ATMs. I’m wondering if banks are paying attention to this and are working on a security solution.

Here’s a thought that comes to mind.

What banks can do for instance, is include a panic code, that can be added on to the normal code. If your code is 4637 and you add 37 or a pre-determined number, the machine could go into “safe mode”; and maybe just allow the withdrawal of small amounts. It’s important here, for the system not to shut access totally, because the “hijacker” could get rough if he knows what’s going on.

Whatever the solution, the credit card / account holder needs to have the facility of activating a “safe mode” – especially if the security guard at the ATM has also been overpowered.

2 Comments so far

  1. Deepa Mohan (unregistered) on October 8th, 2007 @ 5:36 pm

    That’s a good idea Sharath…perhaps you could write to a few banks or a nodal body about it.

    But often, the heist happens when the user is walking out of the ATM *after* finishing the transaction…so how do we address that?

  2. Sharath (unregistered) on October 8th, 2007 @ 8:19 pm

    Deepa : I guess you’re right about that, and the usual caveats will apply…

    – Don’t pick an ATM that’s lonely and secluded
    – Don’t go alone if you’re drawing large sums
    – Don’t stop over late in the night
    – Don’t leave behind your bag / briefcase
    when you park your car

    If something happens in spite of all this, what can you say ?

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