LA councilman calls for ATM "duress code" system to fight robbers

LA councilman calls for ATM "duress code" system to fight robbers

A Los Angeles city councilman has called for ATMs to be fitted with PIN "duress code" systems that would let users covertly notify police when they are being robbed.

According to the LA Times, Greig Smith says people being forced by thieves to withdraw cash from ATMs should be able to alert police by entering their PIN in reverse.

In a proposal to the city's public safety committee, Smith says at least one manufacturer has already developed a system, which would cost banks around $25 a machine to install.

The proposal comes in the wake of the kidnap and murder of 17 year old Lily Burk in July. Police say her killer drove Lily to ATMs and forced her to try and withdraw money before killing her.

Los Angeles councilman wants ATM 'duress code' system - LA Times

Comments: (3)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 02 September, 2009, 15:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Javelin research clearly shows that individuals want a more significant role in their own security, and our data also shows several ways that consumers are able to be effective in the protection of their financial assets. One of banks' best ways to improve security is to partner with the consumer in the battle against a common enemy: the criminal who takes over a consumer's identity. Online, ATM, phone or even in person, banks can get more control over identity criminals by empowering the consumer. Alternatively, the the financial services industry can continue to stubbornly insist that the customer can't and won't be bothered to make a difference, despite a growing volume of data pointing to the opposite conclusion. Customer-empowered security is a market opportuntiy! 

John Copping
John Copping - CGI - London 03 September, 2009, 15:10Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

So, you have a knife at your ribs - under pressure...

Can you remember your PIN in reverse?

it's hard enough to do normally....

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 08 September, 2009, 14:22Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Let's not forget the many PINs which are palindromic. Easy to remember backwards, yes - but do you really want armed police arriving each and every time you take cash out (thinking about it, perhaps that would be useful security!).

I don't necessarily disagree with the concept, but a backwards PIN will just not work.

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