Security Bank, RCBC add anti-fraud measures to debit cards

MANILA, Philippines – With the threat of automated teller machine (ATM) fraud still looming large, two of the country's biggest banks have doubled down on security measures for their customers' debit cards.

Dy-led Security Bank and Yuchengco-led Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) both announced on Monday, September 18, that they have added a lock/unlock feature to their ATM cards.

The enhanced safety feature allows customers to turn off – and on – their card functionality remotely to guard against unauthorized transactions, including withdrawals and other card-related fraud.  

"Customers can lock their cards for as long as they prefer and just unlock it when needed. They can also utilize the lock feature whenever they temporarily misplace their card or when they are traveling to prevent unauthorized charges," explained Security Bank fraud management division head Jopet Jocson.

While a card is locked, it can neither be used for ATM withdrawals nor point-of-sale (POS) and online transactions.

Security Bank pointed out that another functionality is the ability to reset the ATM pin count whenever the customer is locked out of an account due to failed pin input attempts.

The bank noted that every time a customer uses this lock/unlock feature, he or she will receive a text message and an email with a unique transaction reference number.

Security Bank's lock/unlock feature can be accessed through Security Bank Online (SBOL). Users need to log in to SBOL, click Accounts, and choose Manage ATM Card.

The bank also said that non-SBOL users are encouraged to enroll their accounts to access this feature. Beyond SBOL, the bank said the lock/unlock feature "will soon be available" in the Security Bank mobile app for both iOS and Android.

RCBC has also adopted the same remote lock/unlock feature for its debit and prepaid cards.

"Given the recent increase in cyber threats and ATM skimming in the country, we wanted to provide our customers with a feature that will allow them the option of protecting their debit or prepaid cards in the quickest way possible," said RCBC digital banking group head Margarita Lopez.

The country's biggest banks have been dealing with ATM skimming for years now. Last July, 3 foreigners were arrested for allegedly stealing P339,300 from various ATMs in Pampanga. – Rappler.com