Customer Safety Compromised At ATM’s With Outdated Software?

ATM Machine Safety
Image used for representation only

Recent reports from the government revealed that almost 74% of that ATM machines used by nationalised banks are running an outdated software which make it an easier target for frauds in view of the reduced number of security features.

The Reserve Bank of India has already issued a circular to all the banks in India advising them to upgrade their ATM software.

Currently, these ATM machines are running on Windows XP which is outdated. RBI (Reserve Bank Of India) advised the banks in India to upgrade their software by June 2019, as Windows XP is no longer supported.

Speaking to Pune365, a senior officer (name withheld on request) of a leading nationalised bank said “our system is updated on a daily basis.

The bank transacts and handles crores and we can’t afford to ever compromise on the customer’s security of transactions.

Our ATM machines are spread all over the city and are monitored regularly by the main office. A special person is authorised to keep a close eye on each transaction from an individual account.

A bank will not compromise on the safety of the customer’s money. Initially, there were cases of debit card frauds and card cloning and several cases were registered. Post these concerns, the chip was introduced as a security feature.

Now, most cards have a unique chip which cannot be cloned. This has brought down the cases of fraud with respect to use at the ATM’s he added.

Reacting to this, Uditav Sinha, A Sales Specialist of ATM’s says, ATM machines work on various software, but the base software of the ATM machine is an operating system and the current one in use is Windows XP in most of the ATM machines.

Last year, RBI issued a circular advising banks to update their version of the ATM operating system, Despite that, many of the banks have probably not taken it seriously enough, as it means incurring a cost.

The ATM machines operating system is charged per license, Windows 10 is much costlier than Windows XP and hence the banks management have not yet updated the operating system. Windows versions needs an update after every interval and managing the cost for every update becomes difficult for the banks.

The safety of the machine is definitely compromised. It is relatively easier to hack the old operating system, as it doesn’t have many safety features. Many of the time we face an issue in the ATM while withdrawing cash, money stuck in ATM etc.

ATMs all over the city are out of service due to the expired versions of an operating system which can be repaired, but only on a temporary basis.

Recently the government has introduced an open source operating system like Linux for the banks and the government organisations.  It works like an android and the latest version gets updated when the update is available and one doesn’t need to pay everytime they need an upgrade.

Reassuring citizens, Priyansh Agarwal, a Banker says, “Safety is not compromised and the software is updated every day.

With respect to the ATM, even if the operating system is outdated, there are many softwares which are installed to protect the ATM machines.

Each bank has various types of features to ensure that the ATM is protected.

Ankur Sharma, IT professional says, the cases of debit card fraud are rising constantly, despite the repeated warnings given by RBI asking banks to upgrade their software.

Hacking has become common now, and more so since everyone knows that these machines are running an expired version of their operating system.

In a recent circular issued by RBI, they have told the Banks to instal
Anti-Skimming devices and whitelisting solutions in cash machines by March 2019. RBI further warned banks of strict action if they fail to install both these security features. 

For the record, skimmers are devices which are attached to the card slot and this skimmer is programmed to read your card information, store and transfer the data to the fraudsters.

Once the banks install the anti-skimming device, the device will transmit a signal to the person monitoring the ATM and prevent the user from performing the transaction.

Sharma further added that “It is advisable for citizens to protect their transactions from frauds and apply for ATM email alert services for transactions. With this, a suspicious transaction can be reported to the bank.”

Renuka Hankare, web designer says, “Despite hearing of so many cases, how can banks afford to risk an individuals money. Though a person has the right to demand their money in case of a fraudulent transaction, the safety of the ATM machines and customers should not be compromised.




#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.

Ankita Malekar

Ankita Malekar

A talkative tiny speck in the world of Media, with an itch for travel and paws.
Ankita Malekar