Bankers, police oppose move to install guards in ATM sites

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/JMD (The Freeman) - September 4, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Bankers Club and Cebu City Police Office opposed in yesterday’s public hearing the proposed ordinance requiring banks to deploy security personnel at Automated Teller Machine sites.

Both CBC and CCPO were invited to appear in the hearing at the City Council to give their inputs on the proposed measure authored by Councilor Noel Eleuterio Wenceslao.

The ordinance seeks to require any person operating automated teller machine within Cebu City to assign security guard or personnel in ATM sites, and providing penalties for violations thereof.

CBC President Gino Gonzales agreed it is the responsibility of the banking institutions to ensure the safety of the funds they hold in trust for their depositors.

However, he stressed that deploying additional security guards would be a financial burden for their part, claiming that security measures are already in place.

 “It is for this reason that banks have been extra vigilant in instituting the necessary measures to mitigate, if not obliterate, the attendant risks of our bank clientele when transacting through the ATMs,” he said.

Gonzales said the banking industry has developed security practices, such as “banks have installed keypad covers to mitigate risk against skimming devices since fraudsters can only access the account by using the accountholder’s password.”

“ATMs have built-in cameras to assist the PNP in solving ATM-related crimes; most banks have already instituted prevention measures which include the regular roving of security guards to check the machines if there are skimming devices installed or if there are suspicious persons loitering at or around the vicinity of the ATM site,” he added.

He said banks are constantly educating clients on how to prevent being victimized by skimmers and fraudsters, pointing out that banks are in the process of transferring to a better technology which is the issuance of Europay, MasterCard and Visa  capable cards.

“This is a chip-based technology developed by Europay, MasterCard and Visa which contains an embedded microprocessor that provides strong security features and other capabilities not possible with the traditional magnetic stripe cards,” he said.

He said that banks would need additional P35,000 salary for three shifts at eight hours for the deployment of security guards for a month that would add to a total of P95,000 monthly cost for each ATM, excluding the annual property tax of around P18,000.

 “Each ATM has an average number of 2,000 to 3,000 transactions per month. Of the 3,000 transactions, only around 30 percent or 900 are inter-bank transactions. At P8 per transaction and with 900 transactions, one ATM would only earn an estimated income of P7,200 to the acquiring/maintaining bank,” he added.

Gonzales also said the amount entailed in acquiring security personnel is too much considering the very small number of criminal incidents involving ATMs.

For their part, Cebu City Investigation and Detective Management Branch Chief Inspector Aileen Recla of CCPO said their office has recorded only six street robbery incidents involving ATM withdrawals since January 2013 to August 2014 in Cebu City.

However, she cited the view of CCPO director Noli Romana that “while crime incident of this issue (ATM withdrawal-related street robbery) is very low, it’s not an exemption for them to be complacent.”

 She said the police office has not also recorded any case of ATM fraud in the city and that it is not essential to pass this resolution.

 Recla likewise said the police are having their constant roving around financial institutions. — (FREEMAN)

ATM AUTOMATED TELLER MACHINE BANKS CEBU BANKERS CLUB AND CEBU CITY POLICE OFFICE CEBU CITY CEBU CITY INVESTIGATION AND DETECTIVE MANAGEMENT BRANCH CHIEF INSPECTOR AILEEN RECLA CITY COUNCIL COUNCILOR NOEL ELEUTERIO WENCESLAO EUROPAY SECURITY
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