ATM (full form: Automated Teller Machine) is an automated electronic device which allows the banks’ customers to withdraw from and deposit on their accounts. It receives instruction from the user and converts the instructions into the transactions. Banks and financial institutions had brought several products in the market through which banking transactions can be made using ATM machine. One of the products is ATM card which allows the customer to take banking service in Off Banking Hour also.
There are several benefits of using ATM card. Due to its usage one should not carry cash or cheque books and minimize possible loss. Next, we should not worry for signature verification and standing on long queue as we do for cheques. Furthermore, we can withdraw or deposit cash from any ATM counter which need not be of the bank in which we have account. For the bank, the crowd of customers would be lesser. The use of paper and other procedural expenses get reduced.
Apart from several benefits of using ATM card, there are some disadvantages too. As the ATM card rely totally on machine it is more technical and less manual and if any problem occurs during the usage we rarely get manual support. Next, our ATM card may be hacked by the hackers and withdraw cash from our accounts. This is the major and burning issue regarding ATM.
To overcome ATM threats we should be aware of the card type, problems in ATM and preventive measures of ATM hacking. In Nepal, mostly used ATM cards are SCT (full form: Smart Choice Technologies) and VISA (full form: Virtual Instrument Software Architecture). Generally, SCT is accepted in Nepal only whereas VISA is accepted in India as well. SCT and VISA are different networks.
Problems in ATM can be identified by some abnormal or suspecting happenings inside ATM booth and around. Thieves may put card scanners over the slots which would copy the card’s information. They may stand behind the user, watch the PIN (full form: Personal Identity Number) input and later pickpocketting the card. Not only this, they may put hidden cameras on ATMs to record PIN or various PIN stealing devices, card copying devices etc.
To prevent ATM hacking we should cover the password with hands during the usage. Some hackers may trace our fingerprints on keyboard so that it would be better to rub keyboard after use. Next, we should use familiar ATMs and limit our visits. And we should check the bank balances regularly. Furthermore, risk can be minimized by observing the ATM booth while using and inform to the Bank or security body if any abnormal or suspecting objects or happenings seen.
The more securely we use the ATM the more we can overcome the threats. So, we should affix the signature on the signature panel at the back of the card immediately after receiving. We should not give card or reveal PIN to other and use card via internet or mail. Also, we should maintain record of card number and contact number separately. Next, if card lost we should immediately inform the bank. And, should keep transaction slips till final settlement.
As we received our ATM card from bank it is our responsibility to use it with care, inform the banks if any issue occurred and keep secure as much we can.It is not good to blame the bank always unless we become more responsible.
(Writer Adhikari is the Senior Assistant (IT) in Rastriya Banijya Bank)