Smart unveils service to fight ATM, credit card fraud


Posted at Feb 28 2014 05:14 PM | Updated as of Mar 03 2014 05:09 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A unit of Smart Communications Inc., Smart e-Money, has unveiled a mobile service to prevent automated teller machine (ATM) and credit card fraud.

The new service, LockByMobile, provides security to card users by allowing them to “lock” and “unlock” their ATM and credit cards using their mobile phones.

It also allows users to customize what payment functionalities must be locked or unlocked such as ATM withdrawal, over-the-counter or point-of-sale purchase or online transactions.

The service also includes the use of location-based or geo-locking features.

“The new service provides an additional layer of security by enabling a prepaid, debit or credit card holder to block and unblock the use of the funds in their cards through a few clicks on their mobile phones,” Smart e-Money president and chief executive officer Orlando Vea said in a statement.

Vea said the service is available to payment cards issued by banks worldwide through mobile phones provided by any operator.

The service, based on the Smart Money mobile payments platform, can be used via smartphones or feature phones.

“Given recent developments, LockByMobile is a timely solution that can be quickly implemented by banks and mobile operators and provide greater peace of mind to payment card users,” Vea said.

Several companies raised the issue of payment card fraud through security breaches of customer information systems.

US retailer Target reported in December that hackers had penetrated its network and stolen the payment-card information of over 40 million customers.

Adobe Systems also reported what it called a “sophisticated” cyber-attack on its network that compromised confidential customer information of several tens of millions of its customers.

Estimates put the total global payment-card fraud losses at around $11.3 billion in 2012, up 15% from 2012. The US accounted for nearly half of the total.

In the Philippines, authorities said incidents of ATM theft rose in 2013, with banks losing as much as P220 million.