Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Why is DBS compromising our security without telling us first?

Despite the ATM thefts amounting to $1 million through skimming, what DBS and UOB said recently would give the jitters to anyone who has some money in these banks.

Following the thefts at its ATM machines in Bugis Street, DBS came out to say that it has no full security measures at all its ATMs.

Jitter technology is employed to shake the ATM card when it is inserted and removed to make it difficult for the thieves to instal a skimming devices. It was not used at the Bugis machines.

And the bank's explanation for this was: these measures will lead to a "meaningful increase in customer queue times".

DBS has also admitted that by not activating all the measures at many of its ATMs it could leave these machines vulnerable to thefts.

But what floored me was the remark by its spokesman that "even if the jitter function was on, it is highly unlikely that it could have circumvented the card skimming incident."

Then, almost in the next breath, he added: "It is fair to say that the more security measures you leave on, the better you are likely to be protected."

The obvious question anyone would ask DBS is this: Why are you compromising our security and why are you informing us of this only now --- when the money had disappeared from the ATMs?

Surely we, the customers, have the right to know what we are in for when we use its ATMs.

I mentioned UOB at the start because when DBS was hit, it said it had activated the full security measures at all its ATMs. But when The Straits Times reporter made a check on Monday, it was found that its machines at three places were not activated.

Later that day, it activated all its machines after being told by the newspaper.

In all this fiasco, the bank that stood out is OCBC. All its machines have the full security measures since 2007. Solid as a rock, as usual.

1 comment:

  1. A reader sent this feedback: "Is our security compromised? Yes.
    Did anyone lose his/her money? No.

    "There is no 100% security. DBS did a good job by compensating all affected customers. What else you want? "

    My response: "I want the bank to tell us before we use its ATMs whether or not it has activated the full security measures, not after the fact. The compensation , I agree, is a good move in damage control."