- Do a quick scan. Before using any machine, take a look to make sure it hasn’t been tampered with. If the card reader seems loose, crooked or damaged, if the graphics aren’t aligned, or if part of the machine is a different color, don’t use. If there is another machine nearby (such as two ATM machines next to each other) compare them to see if there are obvious differences. For example, if one machine has a flashing slot to insert your card and the other doesn’t, that may be an indication that there is something wrong.
- Be wary of non-bank ATMs. FICO reports that 60% of skimming occurs at privately-owned ATMs. These are typically cash-dispensing machines and tend to be located in convenience stores, bars, restaurants, grocery stores, or check cashing establishments.
- Check the keypad. If the numbers are hard to press or feel too thick, it might have a false keypad installed and you should move on to the next machine.
- Block your PIN. When entering your PIN, cover the keypad with your other hand in case a camera is recording your number.
- Stay in public view. Always try to use machines that are in public view with security monitoring – these machines are less likely to be tampered with. For additional protection, use a machine inside the store or an ATM inside your bank.
- Check your account regularly. Technology is advancing and so are skimming devices so the best thing you can do is monitor your account. Rather than wait for your monthly statement, check your account regularly using online and mobile banking. This way, if anything were to happen, you can catch it immediately and report it to your bank.
- Sign up for alerts. See what type of fraud alert system your card provider has in place and take advantage of it.
- Above all, trust your instincts. If you suspect foul play, or if you’re in doubt about the authenticity of a machine, use a different machine or payment method.
Here are some new scenarios that might be encountered by Advantage Checkcard holders for transaction authorization and posting:
- The merchant terminal may ask for a signature but route the transaction to a PIN debit network.
- When a cardholder is given the option to choose “credit,” the transaction may not be routed to Visa. And, a cardholder may be prompted for a signature instead of a PIN if they choose “debit.”
- Some merchants may not allow the cardholder to choose “credit” to opt out of PIN entry at the terminal.
- The merchant may not ask for either a PIN or signature. The major networks announced in June 2018 that a signature is now optional for all chip-enabled merchants. PIN networks have announced that PIN entry would be optional for all purchases. Overall, the number of “No Cardholder Verification Method (CVM)” transactions is expected to grow.
Cardholders with rewards or affinity cards (cards that earn benefits for schools, community projects, etc.) may see the opportunity to earn rewards and benefits dwindle.
At this time, there are only a few merchants using the signature-for-PIN debit option but authorization and routing changes will be made by more merchants as they look to reduce their costs and speed checkout times.
Effective January 13, 2018 surcharges (“Checkout Fee”) on credit and debit card transactions in the European Union are prohibited.
In the United States, confusion about checkout fees still lingers; here are some facts you should know:
1. The surcharge only applies to credit cards; it does not apply to debit cards (Advantage Checkcards for example) or prepaid cards (gift cards for example).
2. Cardholders who use a debit card or prepaid card at checkout and choose the “Credit” button in order to make a “signature” purchase should not be charged the checkout fee. If a store attempts to add a surcharge on a purchase made with an Advantage Checkcard, cardholders should inform the clerk they are using a Debit Card and not a Credit Card and the surcharge is not allowed.
3. The Checkout Fee may not exceed four percent (4%) of the transaction amount and merchants must disclose the actual dollar amount of the surcharge on the receipt. For credit card returns, a prorated share of the surcharge should be refunded as well.
4. Merchants who implement the Checkout Fee are required to post a notice at the point of store entry and at the point sale. Online merchants must post a notice in the first web page that references credit card brands. The disclosure must include the amount of the surcharge and the fact that the fee is being charged by the merchant, not the card issuer.
5. Some merchants will charge a “convenience fee” to the cardholder for using a card for their purchase, for example, taking online payments for rent rather than accepting checks only.
6. Merchants are allowed to require minimum purchases for credit card purchases — up to $10.
7. Merchant are allowed to offer discounts for cash, checks, or other non-credit card means of payment.
8. Several states have laws restricting surcharging; if you suspect a violation in these states, contact the state attorney general’s office.
9. Cardholders may report merchants charging excessive Checkout fees, or surcharging debit or prepaid card transactions, or setting minimum debit purchase requirements by going to this website and filling out the “Report a Merchant Violation” form: www.visa.com/checkoutfees.
10. For FAQs and information about credit cards and debit cards visit www.knowyourcard.org.
One of the reasons Advantage has such a low fraud rate is that we process disputes for all members in our network and receive all fraud notices. Because of this we are able to see fraud trends and common points of compromise before an individual institution would be able to spot them.
In addition, Advantage offers a number of best-in-industry products and services to member institutions including:
- Free Consumer Education/Awareness The best defense against fraud is the cardholder. By being aware and engaged they can help protect themselves from fraud.
- Checkcard Alerts About 50% of fraud is found by the cardholder.
- Chip Card Production When you complete a transaction at a chip-enabled terminal, a one-time code is generated for that transaction. This makes it nearly impossible to use stolen transaction data to create a counterfeit card, reducing in-store fraud.
- Data Navigator is a web-based tool that collects real-time data on all Checkcard and ATM card transactions made by your cardholders as well as all transactions made at your ATMs.
- Debit Insights is a data analytics tool that provides information about the behavior of your cardholders so you can meet their needs with Checkcard products and features.
- FIS SecurLOCK, Fraud Alert Management Fraud scoring and rules are applied to all Advantage card products and all card activity including ATM, PIN Debit and signature transactions.
Membership in the Allpoint ATM Network is free to Advantage member financial institutions.
Your cardholders receive surcharge-free cash withdrawal transactions (and other account access) at Allpoint ATMs, conveniently located in destination retail outlets including national and regional retailers such as Target, Kroger and Costco. This means you are not sending your cardholders to competing financial institution ATMs.
As an ATM owner, you are not required to participate in the Allpoint Network, so you keep your surcharge income. Issuers may choose to charge or waive foreign service fees for Allpoint transactions.
Other benefits of membership include:
- Freedom to market Allpoint ATMs as your own in messages to your cardholders.
- Browser-friendly web-based ATM locator and customer FAQs (www.allpointnetwork.com)
- Free ATM locator app for mobile devices including iPhone®, Android® and Blackberry®.
- 24/7 IVR phone system with English and Spanish options.
- Comprehensive “members only” Allpoint website which provides access to Allpoint graphics, marketing tips, and web banners as well as the ability to download and customize marketing collateral.For an additional fee, you can create a customizable ATM locator which incorporates your ATM locations as well as Allpoint locations.
Click here to find Advantage, In Balance and Allpoint locations around the world!