Absa releases anti card skimming software


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Nov 22, 2010
Absa has reaffirmed its commitment to preventing financial fraud by implementing new anti card skimming technology on its ATMs called ‘Jitter’ software. Jitter causes a vibration to the ATM card reader which sends a disrupted signal to any illegal skimming device.

This prohibits the copying of the track data from banking cards and makes card skimming impossible. Absa will install this Jitter software to all fully branded Absa ATMs and Self Service Kiosks. This network of 4 357 ATMs excludes third party, Absa supported ATMs.

Card skimming typically occurs when fraudsters attach reading devices known as “skimmers” to an ATM card entry in order to read the magnetic strip data from inserted cards.

The information collected can then be copied onto the magnetic strip of a blank card or sold to large producers of counterfeit cards. The fraudster can then either go on an immediate spending spree or withdraw money from the account with the ‘cloned’ card.

With the new Jitter software transactions on Absa ATMs will now take slightly longer, two to three seconds, as the speed at which the card is pulled into and ejected from the ATM is somewhat slower than what customers currently experience.

Allen Mahadeo, General Manager: Absa Group Self Service Channel says, “Security is a priority for us and our customers. We are confident that this first in industry technology will dramatically curb incidences of card skimming.

“It is key that we are able to provide secure banking experiences for our customers” concludes Mahadeo.

According to the South African Banking Risk Intelligence Centre card skimming has increased by 42% from 2006 to 2007.