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Low-tech innovation in the ATM comfort zone

A New Zealand woman has come up with a novel low-cost solution to shoulder-surfing at ATMs. Beach Haven-based Sharon Stamper is the brains behind the yellow lines that are now a standard fixture in all Taranaki Savings Bank ATMs.

The former "fulltime mother" told the Stuff Web site that the security line creates a "comfort or security zone" for people using the automated machines.

"The idea behind the security lines around ATMs came from my insecurity and annoyance at being ‘shoulder surfed’ while using the machine," she told the site.

She has set up her own company, Security Lines Ltd, and is in talks with other major banks about having their ATMs ring-fenced. 

Not sure whether it's possible to patent such an idea, and also wonder if there are issues relating to ownership of the pavement around the bank cash machines, but why hasn't anybody thought of this before?

Sharon Stamper inside the comfort zone
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Comments: (5)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 November, 2008, 17:04Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I wonder if banks will use this as an opportunity to charge customers penalty fees for stepping inside the box?

I wouldn't put it past them!

 

 

 

John Dring
John Dring - Intel Network Services - Swindon 12 November, 2008, 17:14Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

But can she explain the off-side rule?

Sorry, but I've seen many lines to stand behind.  Doesn't even work for the queue at customs. For ATMs all this creates is a corridor for people to walk through between the queue and the ATM. Its just bad manners and the most they will see (assuming you cover your PIN) is the amount you are withdrawing.
(btw- this blog was missing the add comment option!)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 13 November, 2008, 03:28Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Sometimes low-tech solutions can be good, although I suspect in this case that the lowest-tech barrier we could go to is an electric fence. Then the crooks would wear (dry) wetsuits... and then the customers would carry a bucket of water...

I know an easier safer way but I just can't get it out, I rattle on too much it as it is, but..

The whole ATM experience is still so 1940's, except for the odd advert.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 13 November, 2008, 09:36Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

This is one solution that IT guys can't say they can do better. Good for her. Now she has to source out the best paint color provider.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 November, 2008, 03:40Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I noticed that the lines form a rectangle and because I'm such a tall shoulder surfer, I could stand 'outside the box' and see  someone's business, unless they were a couple of metres tall.

Perhaps a wedge shaped privacy zone, a little wider at the wall end?

I know I'm a stickler, but hey, I don't have a preference on the colour issue, but it probably has to be something that we dont see on footpaths, maybe green or blue could do?

Should I patent that?

Perhaps the Pyramid of Privacy?

'Please be Polite and Place yourself outside the Pyramid of Privacy until the Previous Person completes their Process.'

We could have them at cash registers, with a slightly different crowd control sign -

'Please be Polite and Place yourself outside the Personal Payment Pyramid of Privacy until the Previous Person Pays with their Pin and completes their Purchase Process.'

Apologies, I'm always thinking outside the box to make things better, except in this case, ouside the pyramid of privacy. No abuse please, I know what you're thinking.