Say no to ATM theft with anti-fraud security
(The Philippine Star) - October 27, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Smart e-Money, Inc. (SMI), the digital financial solutions subsidiary of Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has introduced an innovative mobile-based, anti-fraud security service that will empower card users to “lock” and “unlock” their automated teller machine (ATM), prepaid, debit, and credit cards with the use of their smartphones.

 This latest innovation called LockByMobile is in response to the rising number of fraud cases involving ATMs and credit card transactions. The world’s first mobile-based anti-fraud solution, LockByMobile was developed to help enable consumers to protect themselves from card fraud.

“It’s an innovative mobile financial solution that we’ve developed to address a common pain point of any cardholder — that of having the power to protect one’s card accounts in a simple but powerful and convenient way. Having that additional layer of security can give the customer peace of mind,” said Orlando B. Vea, SMI president and CEO, and chief wireless advisor at Smart.    

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has reported that over a thousand incidents of ATM fraud and scams took place last year involving approximately P220 million, 13 percent higher than the P175 million that was recorded in 2012.  Fraudulent practices that have victimized cardholders over the years include cash and card trapping, shoulder surfing, use of information from carelessly discarded ATM receipts, card skimming, and cloned cards.

“LockByMobile provides an additional layer of security by enabling any card holder to block and un-block the use of the funds in his cards with a few taps on his smartphone. This can be quickly implemented by banks, and provide greater peace of mind to payment card users amid the increasing incidence of identity theft,” said Vea.

Using SMI’s proprietary, patented and Payment Card Industry-Data Security Standard certified platform, this mobile application can be downloaded via Google Play Store or ITunes App Store. This will be made available to card issuers worldwide using smartphones provided by any mobile network operator.

 LockByMobile allows you to “lock” and “unlock” your accounts at different levels — by account, by channel, or by transaction settings.

Its patented features include enabling the cardholder to lock or unlock the account by transaction or by channel. Through locking by transaction, a cardholder can set an amount threshold; limit the types of merchants where the card can be used; and limit transactions to certain countries and currencies. This is a very relevant protection when the user is not using the card like when traveling overseas.

Meanwhile, selecting channel lock allows the user to specifically lock access to an ATM withdrawal, point-of sale terminal, online purchase, mobile banking, or money transfer. 

Under account settings, the customer can also choose to specify which particular card account enrolled in the mobile app should be locked or unlocked.

LockByMobile also has built-in fraud alert mechanisms which are preventive rather than reactive, ensuring that a transaction will not push through unless it is within the security setting set by the cardholder.

“Future-proofing digital payments also hinges on coming up with fool-proof and robust security solution through mobile technology,” commented BSP Deputy Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr.

“Customers are now empowered to be in full control of their card accounts the same way we lock or unlock our mobile phones, providing  added peace of mind among consumers while banks leverage on it as a tool to mitigate risks,” said Lito Villanueva, head of payments  innovation, digital ecosystem and alliances at  SMI.

If your card has been skimmed or used by an unauthorized individual, you will be alerted immediately through your mobile phone and the attempted transaction will not be completed.  This will save the card owner from filing complaints with the banks for unauthorized transactions.

“This complements the efforts of the banking industry to clamp down on fraudulent financial transactions. Security is everyone’s concern.  With LockByMobile, you give the end-user the tool with which to secure his transactions.  It’s like having security in your village, and yet, you still lock your home’s doors,” said Bancnet vice chairman Daniel Yu, who is also SVP and head of transaction banking and chief information officer at Security Bank.

This latest innovation from SMI is seen to further push the adoption of electronic payments in a country where majority of purchases and transactions are still done in cash.

“LockByMobile is the next step in propagating e-commerce—ensuring that the system is secure.  There are lots of value propositions to increase the business some more, but we don’t want to expose our clients to risks. It would be much better if the platform is secure,” said vice president Marie Carolina L. Chua, head of alternative channels division, ChinaBank, and chairman of the Inter-Network Anti-Fraud Committee.  

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