While the “jackpotting” escapades of ATM fraudsters garner headlines, the activities of “foreign cardholders” pose a more significant and frequent threat to U.S. ATM operators. Card acquirers reporting the incidence of ATMs being drained of cash by persons using foreign-issued payment cards is on the rise.
Financial institutions around the world have disclosed that when ATM cash supplies are unexpectedly and abruptly emptied it most likely involves payment cards issued from one of the following:
- Card issuers located in foreign countries
- Foreign (not U.S. based) internet payment services
Internationally based banks and payment services accept and provide for fund deposits, withdrawals and wire transfers from a wide variety of sources. Many provide account holders with payment cards that can be used anywhere in the world with few limitations.
The willingness of foreign banks to establish multiple accounts and payment cards to single persons or organizations appeals to directors of card-based theft operations. In addition to the unwittingly sponsorship of global money laundering, financial institutions processing these transactions are at risk of their ATMs being drained of cash by persons using these foreign issued payment cards.
When little or no issuer-based withdrawal limits exist for these payment cards, they can be used repeatedly to make withdrawals at any ATM, especially those where the ATM switch has no limits established for foreign “not on us” cards.
Case in Point
In February of 2013, a global card fraud operation drained ATMs in New York and around the world of over $45,000,000 in a matter of hours. Involving bad actors from many countries, the operation was complex and well planned. It could have been thwarted by pre-existing foreign card restrictions. After compromising the systems of both Indian and US card processing and issuing firms, the criminals eliminated withdrawal limits on foreign pre-paid debit cards. In New York alone, the crew drained $2.4 million from nearly 3,000 ATM machines in 10 hours. Single ATM withdrawals exceeded $10,000.
Pre-existing foreign card withdrawal restrictions would have saved the day.
The CSFi Solution
Even a single occurrence of this type can result in significant financial loss to the victim financial institution. CSFi Foreign Card Withdrawal Rules enable the enforcement of customizable acquirer standards governing foreign “not on us” card usage at the ATM. Simple, easily deployed and absolute. Once deployed you become the master of your exposure to “foreign card” risk, and can take control of acquirer-based fraud at your ATMs.
The CSFi difference
If you are already a customer you already know…CSFi never sleeps. We have been earning the trust of financial institutions around the globe for more than 38 years. CSFi laboratories are always engaged in the in identifying ways to advance the success of our partners. Our customer service has no equal.
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