Landscape Entry Prevents ATM Theft and Increases Debit Card Safety and Security

It’s no longer enough to take measures to protect your physical safety and your cash after a transaction at the ATM – now you must be aware of cameras and skimming devices that secretly record (steal) your bank account numbers and PIN numbers.

ATM skimming is a $2 billion problem globally and although skimmers are not a new problem, the technology that powers skimmers continues to improve. Previous incarnations were easy to spot, but the newer versions are all but invisible. And not only are the skimmers getting harder to spot — they are becoming easier to access remotely, thanks to built-in Bluetooth capacity.

With these skimmers, comes an increased need for security and personal caution. This includes protecting your ATM card number, Debit Card number, Personal Identification Number (PIN), and cash, and being aware of the condition of the machine and your surroundings.

At the same time, ATM manufacturers are developing new solutions to counter the threat. The new Better Banks ATM machines, developed by Diebold Nixdorf, are designed so you insert your card lengthwise instead of widthwise.

By changing the direction of the card and how the magnetic strip is read, static skimming devices are left useless. These new machines are actually the safest ATMs available. Once the card is inside the machine, the chip on the card is used to complete the transaction. If the card does not have a chip, a magnetic reader runs across the mag strip, as if you swiped your card. This process allows the ATM to retrieve the data it normally would without the risk of an external skimming device stealing the information.

ATMs remain the primary, most convenient and most reliable way to retrieve cash. However, with a few additional security measures, you can easily avoid skimmers and other security risks.

Here are some other tips for safer transactions at the ATM:

  • Use your Better Banks ATM whenever possible to utilize the landscape card reader. 
  • Check your bank statements regularly. Report any unauthorized activity to your bank immediately.
  • Look for signs that the card reader at the gas pump may have been altered. Always check if the gas pump security tape has been altered in any way.
  • Wiggle the card reader, if it moves at all you should use a different machine. Report the machine to the store and notify the police.
  • Cover your pin number when entering it. It may seem old fashioned, but criminals will have a harder time accessing your bank account without the pin and often still use cameras aimed at the keypad.

The most important safety and security measure you can take is to form a relationship with your bank. The better your bank knows you, the more likely they are to notice suspicious activity. 

Our Branch Managers are available to answer any additional questions you may have regarding our new ATMs and debit card security.