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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

UAE banks hit by surge in ATM fraud

Banks across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are sending customers text messages urging them to change their PIN numbers following a surge in fraudulent ATM withdrawals made abroad.

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Banks need to do more about Fraud internally

I agree with Marite Ferrero's comments but I also think this is a tough one simply because fraudsters - being fraudsters - will find a way anyway.

However, that is not to say nothing should be done. A lot of prepaid card companies already have a block/unblock option which allows cardholders to block/unblock their card using a secure code/PIN and their mobile phone.

So the systems do exist already - it’s just a case of ensuring that banks are willing to integrate the functionality into their existing platforms and are not simply going to pass on massive costs to consumers or make it rather inconvenient for them to do so as carrying plastic is as much about convenience as it is about security and perhaps, overspend!


Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 15 September, 2008, 15:18Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Found in :


"Brian Triplett, a security executive for the biggest payment network, Visa Inc. of San Francisco, said the company's statistics also show low levels of fraud, roughly one in every 10,000 transactions.

Rather than replacing all the 12 million card readers in the United States with ones that could handle the Chip and PIN standard, Triplett said the money would be better spent on other fraud-fighting technologies. For instance, Visa in August began a trial of a service that beams text messages to the cardholders' cellphones within minutes after a purchase, which would help spot fraud quickly."



This is consistent with our system that allows cardholders to set their own limits. CardSwitch offers an improvement which enables banks to reject fraudulent transactions based on these user limits, unlike a notification system which can allow one to many fraudulent transactions until the cardholder receives the notifications and contacts his bank.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 September, 2008, 10:56Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

From ITP NET Middle East:

"Last week thousands of people were frantically calling bank customer care centres and queuing at ATM machines after receiving SMS messages warning them to change the PIN numbers on all their debit cards. 

Some customers also had their cards cancelled as banks scrambled to limit the extent of the problem after a spree of fraudulent withdrawals from both inside and outside of the UAE."


Apparently, banks there have been using VISA INC's method of notifying their cardholders. Just enable cardholders to put an 'electronic' lock and key to their card accounts with CardSwitch Technology and this should make it useless for hackers/fraudsters to skim cards.

Stanley Epstein
Stanley Epstein - Citadel Advantage Ltd - Modiin 21 September, 2008, 16:38Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I am behind using technology all the way. But remember the human interface. Getting an SMS each time I use my credit card is going to really bug me … and it will be that critical one fraudulent transaction that I will overlook.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 21 September, 2008, 18:08Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Exactly. With CardSwitch Technology, a cardholder gets a sms notification only when a card transaction does not meet his self-defined user limits. A cardholder can also choose to receive notifications by email if sms is not preferred.


Amit Sharma

CEO & Prepaid Consultant

Emotion Associates

Member since

04 Feb 2008



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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

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