Smart unveils world’s first mobile solution against ATM fraud

Smart Communications Inc. said its digital financial arm launched the world’s first mobile-based anti-fraud security solution to prevent fraud involving automated teller machines and credit card transactions. 

Smart e-Money Inc. said the innovative mobile-based, anti-fraud security service called LockByMobile will empower card users to “lock” and “unlock” their ATM, prepaid, debit and credit cards with the use of smartphones. 

Smart said the product was warmly received by the member-banks of BancNet and Megalink at the first Philippine ATM Conference held recently in Makati City.

"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," SMI president and chief executive Orlando Vea said in a statement.

LockByMobile was developed to enable consumers protect themselves from card fraud.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas earlier reported that over a thousand incidents of ATM fraud and scams took place in 2013, resulting in a loss of P220 million, up by 13 percent from P175 million recorded in 2012. 

Fraudulent practices that victimized cardholders over the years included cash and card trapping, shoulder surfing, use of information from carelessly discarded ATM receipts, card skimming, and cloned cards.

Bangko Sentral Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. said “future-proofing digital payments also hinges on coming up with fool-proof and robust security solution through mobile technology.”

BancNet chairman Manuel Tagaza, who is also an official of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, said the new security solution was timely given the rising incidence of card fraud in the country.

“I think this will get a lot of traction.  We’ve seen that a number of cases happen abroad so the ability of LockByMobile to geo-locate and lock transactions are features that would make banks interested,” Tagaza said.


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