Security lapses in Nepal ATMs

As the cases of the ATM thefts are rising in recent days, using debit and credit cards have become riskier. Against this backdrop, Turkey based SD group has introduced Magnetic Card Protector (MCP) to ´avert´ fraudulent attempts to copy the information from the magnetic stripe of the bank customer´s card and withdraw money. The company is set to officially launch the MCP in Nepal this week in partnership with Supernova Intercontinental. Ergun Toydemir, Research and Development manager of SD Group, talked with Sagar Ghimire of Republica about MCP, safety and security condition of Nepal´s ATMs and rising ATM theft cases, among others. Excerpts: [break] What is your assessment of the safety and security of ATM transactions in Nepal? I visited a lot of ATMs here in Nepal. These ATMs are very-very old. Though technology has moved ahead, Nepal is far behind in terms of its uses. ATMs lack enough security features making customers´ transactions riskier and prone to ATM theft. ATMs here need another security device so that transactions can be made safer and secure. Would you tell us about Magnetic Card Protector (MCP)? MCP is a device developed to fight fraudulent transactions using magnetic card skimming. A false front is stuck over the entry of the card reader on an ATM/SST for fraudulent attempts to copy the information from the magnetic stripe of the bank customer´s card. It is when the bank customer inserts or removes his or her card that the information is copied from the cards magnetic stripe. The devices used for card copying are designed to look exactly like the original ATM/SSTs so that the users do not notice there is something on the front of the ATM/SST. The skimming devices are sometimes even not recognized by bank authorities. The measures taken by the manufacturing companies may be insufficient and they can be easily be bypassed by criminals. How the installations of this protector benefits card users and banks and financial institutions? Though ATM or SCT cards are used to avoild the risk of carrying cash, such cards have also not free from possibility of hackers or criminals tracing the data once the cards are swiped in the ATMs by their rightful owners for withdrwal. The installation of this device ensures safer transactions for the card holders. Banks and financial institutions can get all ATM updates in their headquarters from the remote control censors. They can also monitor temperatures, humidity or any other physical attack on their ATMs. Where else in the world has this product been used? What are the responses so far? Currently, this MCP is being used in more than 30 countries in Middle East, Europe and Asia. The hackers cannot use the skimming device to intrude into others account and withdraw the money. Though we do not have exact data on how much ATM thefts have gone down after the installation of this device, we are content with the results and their responses.