ATM/Debit Card Users Offered Safety Tips By Banking Commissioner

Friday 4 June 2004 18:14 CET | News

ATM and debit card users need to observe some basic precautions when using these increasingly popular payment cards to make purchases or withdraw cash.

That was the message delivered here today by Texas Banking Commissioner Randall S. James and Stan Paur, CEO of PULSE EFT Association, the nations leading independent electronic funds transfer network. The two appeared at a morning joint news conference in front of an ATM at the new Frost Bank Tower in downtown Austin to kick off observance of ATM/Debit Card Safety Awareness Month in June. Paur announced that PULSE has launched a national campaign to educate consumers on a range of safety tips regarding electronic payments, and is distributing large supplies of consumer guides for its financial institution members to make available to their customers. Paur listed a number of precautions from the PULSE guide: - Treat your card like cash; always keep your card in a safe place. - Keep your personal identification number (PIN) a secret. - Do not disclose confidential information about your card over the telephone or Internet. - Always observe the ATM surroundings before conducting a transaction. - Block the view of others when using an ATM or point-of-sale (POS) terminal. - Look for possible fraudulent devices attached to the ATM. - Never allow the cashier or any other person to enter your PIN for you, even if they are assisting you with the transaction. Commissioner James noted that these precautions are more timely than ever since ATMs have become so ubiquitous. The commissioner pointed out that the Texas Department of Banking urges ATM owners to conduct periodic safety assessments of ATMs and their surroundings. He also cautioned both ATM owners and cardholders to be on the lookout for scams such as skimming, in which a device illegally attached to an ATM collects data from the card. An acknowledged expert on electronic payments, Paur reviewed the history of ATMs and the growth of usage over the past quarter century. He noted that seven Texas banks came together in 1981 to launch PULSE as a shared electronic funds transfer network to facilitate usage of this revolutionary new banking device. He recalled that in 1982, its first full year of operation, PULSE processed only 2 million transactions. It now processes more than 130 million transactions each month and serves more than 4,600 member financial institutions across the country. Paur also traced the development and growth of the debit card payment system, which now is the fastest growing consumer payment option and currently rivals cash as the most preferred retail payment method. Paur noted that PULSE now connects 90 million cardholders with 250,000 ATMs and 3.3 million POS terminals at merchant locations nationwide. A Frost Bank executive invited consumers to pick up one of the safety tips guides at any of the institutions locations across the state.

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Categories: Payments & Commerce | Payments General
Countries: World
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Payments & Commerce