Tower’s New ATM Technology

It seems every day there’s talk in the news of new scams, fraud tactics, and card breaches. Financial institutions around the globe, including Tower, continue to take steps to help protect against fraud, and particularly at the ATM—where members’ account information can be the most vulnerable. Skimming attacks are on the rise, and becoming more advanced.

We want you to know Tower has your back. We remain proactive in the fight against fraud. We continue to put the security of our members’ accounts as our highest priority, and to that end we are continually updating systems and technologies to help Tower stay a step ahead of the bad guys.

Equipping ATMs with ActivEdge technology
One of the newest ways we are fighting fraud is by upgrading our community branch ATMs with ActivEdge card reader technology. ActivEdge is the industry’s first secure card reader, and counteracts skimming by altering the way cards are inserted and read. Skimmers rely on the ability to read a card’s entire magnetic strip as it is inserted in what the industry calls a short-edge orientation. ActivEdge requires card users to insert their cards long-edge first, making it impossible for skimmers to capture the card’s information.

ActivEdge also helps fight against non-skimming related ATM fraud using a combination of additional hardware and software based anti-fraud features. New gate-locking functionality prevents fraudsters from getting hold of trapped cards.

Improved reporting functionality and diagnostics allow Tower to detect problems quicker.

Throughout this month, Tower will be upgrading community branch ATMs on a rolling basis. This will result in short-term ATM outages as the machines are upgraded. We anticipate these upgrades to last less than 24 hours per machine. While we realize these outages can be an inconvenience, we appreciate your patience during the improvements. The new card readers will significantly help protect against skimming and ATM fraud.

Once the community branch ATMs have been upgraded, the card insertion process will be different than before. Be sure to follow the instructions on the ATM screen.

Tower protects you
Over the past decade, we have poured many resources into helping protect our members’ accounts, and Tower as a whole, against fraud. We have invested in cutting-edge technologies, as well as increased employee training to help detect and prevent fraud early if it occurs.

One of the major ways we have forged ahead in the battle against fraud was our conversion of credit and debit cards to chip-embedded cards a couple of years ago. Chip cards are more secure, and the chip technology makes them less vulnerable to fraud and harder to counterfeit. The conversion was a major step Tower strategically took to help protect our members. The chip card conversion effort was bumpy at times, but successfully reduced opportunities for card fraud. And as a result, we’ve seen a significant decrease in fraud Tower-wide.

More ways Tower is helping to prevent fraud
We know that protection is rooted in prevention, so we take educating our members and raising awareness of fraud prevention techniques seriously. Our Financial Know-How page at towerfcu.org is chock full of articles and tips about how you can protect yourself and your family in cyberspace. We also post timely cyber tips, fraud alerts, and relevant articles on Tower’s Facebook page. (If you haven’t liked us on Facebook yet, please do!). We also know it’s important to detect potential fraud as soon as it occurs. So to help you stay on top of activity in your Tower accounts, we offer E-mail and Text Alerts in Home Banking, and Push Notifications in our Mobile App.

If fraud does occur, Tower credit card holders are protected by Mastercard’s Zero Liability Policy. You are not responsible for unauthorized purchases if your card is lost or stolen. Tower debit card holders are also protected against fraud.

The bottom line: Tower has your back in this fight. We are doing everything we can to help protect the security of our members’ accounts, and our commitment to fighting fraud on every level remains unwavered.

If you ever suspect fraudulent activity has occurred on your account, please contact Tower immediately.

Resources: Diebold, Krebs on Security