NZ banks jittery about ATM skimming

A bank spokesman suggests interest in anti-fraud devices for ATMs might create a shortage and lead to delays in delivery.

New Zealand banks are showing renewed interest in anti-skimming devices for ATMs, in the wake of recent scams said to have netted nearly N$100,000 (US$63,400).

ASB Bank has plans to put devices into its terminals that will "jitter" cards slightly back and forth as they are inserted, making it difficult for a skimming device to read them, said ASB spokesman Clayton Wakefield. ASB expects to have all its machines equipped within six months, Wakefield said. But "the whole industry is upgrading because of the increased perception of threat and the supply-chain may become constricted," resulting in delay.

A spokesman for terminal manufacturer NCR told Computerworld last year about the "jitter" device. The device was discussed with New Zealand banks at the time, but no orders had been placed, he said then.

Mark Watts, of Westpac Banking, said the bank has been looking at such devices "very closely" for some time. "Discussions were under way before the latest spate of attacks," but would now be accelerated.

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