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National ATM Council Challenges FICO Skimming Survey

Posted On: 4/25/2017

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TAGS: National ATM Council Inc., FICO card compromise study, retail ATMs, George Sarantopoulos, Access One ATM, independent ATM operator, nonbank ATM, Bruce Renard

George Sarantopoulos, ATM Fraud
George Sarantopoulos

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- The National ATM Council Inc. said it has concerns regarding FICO's recent findings on card compromises at retail ATMs in the U.S. According to FICO, independently deployed ATMs showed an unusually high volume of illegal activity, compared with fewer at bank ATMs. NAC is questioning those findings that imply retail ATMs are less safe for consumers.

"Based on my many years in the ATM business and numerous discussions with ATM entrepreneurs throughout the nation, there is a clear consensus that card skimming is extremely rare at ATMs in retail locations," said NAC chairman George Sarantopoulos of New York City-based Access One ATM. "It's common knowledge in the industry that the much higher volume, outdoor, unattended bank ATMs are the prime targets for card skimming. The independent segment's much lower transaction volume, heavily attended, indoor retail ATMs remain one of the safest places in America to get your cash."

Click here to see story on FICO's recent fraud study.

NAC also challenged similar findings from last year's annual FICO report, which ran directly counter to evidence received by the association from ATM operators throughout the U.S. Both FICO reports stand at odds with NAC's 2016 ATM Industry-wide Skimming Survey results, showing that nine in 10 retail ATM providers have never encountered a card data-skimming device on their ATM routes. A majority of the 166 ATM operators participating in the 2016 survey had 10-plus years' experience in the retail ATM business, and collectively represented more than 50,000 retail machines in the field.

"The fact that the nation's largest banks hold significant ownership interests in FICO, and those banks' ATMs are in competition with nonbank 'retail' ATMs, raises serious questions and concerns," said NAC executive director Bruce Renard. "We have no doubt that during the current EMV chip card transition, criminals are using more and more counterfeit or cloned magstripe cards at payment and ATM terminals across the board. NAC believes it is misleading and inaccurate, however, to suggest that the initial skimming 'compromise' of card data is happening to any material degree at U.S. retail ATMs."

Click here for more information about perceived issues with FICO's recent card fraud report and findings.