ATM Safety Rests Largely with Customers' Good Judgement

By Congemi, Ronald V. | American Banker, June 15, 1992 | Go to article overview

ATM Safety Rests Largely with Customers' Good Judgement


Congemi, Ronald V., American Banker


I can remember when consumers using automated teller machines were most concerned about figuring out how to enter their personal identification numbers. But recent news reports give the impression that ATM users today are more concerned about being robbed.

The reports also seem to suggest that it is the fault of financial institutions that robberies occur at ATM sites.

Missing from much of the news coverage is the fact that consumers have the ability to take control over how, when, and where they use ATMs. Consumers can enhance their personal safety when using ATMs by being aware of their options for gaining access to funds and by using good judgment.

Strict Standards

Financial institutions have been doing their part by adopting stringent procedures for protecting ATM customers.

In California and Nevada, ATMs, by law, must meet strict lighting and visibility standards, and financial institutions are required to give their customers ATM safety information -- which most financial institutions have been doing as a matter of course.

Electronic funds transfer networks like Star System Inc. have been giving institutions important free information about ATM security, including safety tips, brochures for customers, and helpful videotape presentations for branch employee training.

Even so, as recent news reports indicate, such standard safety measures as improved lighting, video surveillance, and audio monitoring devices -- as well as education -- have not quelled some consumers' concerns about safety at the ATM. …

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