Debit Card Compromises Are up Dramatically, so Watch Where You Put Your Card

by Sarah Grotta 0

Information regarding stolen debit card data was published by technology analytics company FICO. Debit card fraud is shifting from counterfeit transactions at the point of sale to credentials stolen at the ATM. This is not news to debit card managers but the statistics from an industry perspective are staggering. As posted on

“…stolen debit card information shot up 70 percent from this time last year. ATMs and other card readers saw a 30 percent rise in compromises this year, after a six-fold increase the year before.”

There appears to be no available fixes as long as the mag stripe sticks around:

Because it’s cheap and easy to steal bank data straight from ATMs, scammers are never without work. From 2014 to 2015, there was a 546 percent increase in compromised ATMs. It rose another 30 percent from 2015 to 2016. It’s not always easy to detect scamming, either.

“The technology has gotten so small and inconspicuous, it’s often difficult to detect the small skimming devices and cameras,” Betron says. “While the specific mechanisms sometimes change, the basic skimming episode involves devices which capture the magnetic stripe details as well as also recording/capturing the PIN.”

It is going to take a very long time for the U.S. market to rid itself of security weaknesses like that presented by mag stripe. The industry should however hold new payment form factors to a higher standard so issues aren’t perpetuated and the future of the payment system is secured

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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