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ATMs are always attractive targets for criminals as they contain large amounts of cash. While physical attacks such as skimming are still popular, there is a rise in malware infections designed to attack the banking networks themselves. Europol's Guidelines regarding logical attacks on ATMs, recommends the following layered approach to protect ATMs from malware and logical attacks. 

 The lines of defence are:

  • Physical access to the ATM - Only authorised personnel should be allowed to carry out work on an ATM.
  • Offline protection – Logical attacks can be performed without the usage of the ATM operating system, therefore certain precautions have to be taken regarding BIOS configuration editing, the USB/serial communication between the dispenser and the PC and hard disk encryption.
  • Online protection – Includes encryption protection of the entire network, hardening of the operating system, anti-malware and logical protection deployment, firewall installation, and USB protection.
  • Additional measures – Such as fraud monitoring, ATM monitoring and secure software delivery.

Smartphones Turning into Payment Terminals

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Last year, MasterCard announced a pilot project in Poland that allows merchants to use an NFC-enabled smartphone to accept contactless paymentsThe pilot is aimed at small and micro merchants that have traditionally taken cash payments, and the first stage of the pilot will involve 200 businesses from all over Poland, with only small purchases supported, capped at the country’s PLN 50 (or $14) limit to contactless payments not requiring a PIN. By the trial’s end, MasterCard expects 500 businesses to have participated.

The technology to revolutionize mPOS industry and aid in transforming smartphones into payment terminals is PIN on Glass. Since PIN is one of the most protected pieces of information in payments, the idea of PIN on Glass is to be able to enter the PIN code on a standard smartphone or tablet touchscreen in a secure way. Additionally to improving transactional security, PIN on Glass lowers the cost of card acceptance, and increases card-acceptance rates.


Google has launched a new way to pay, making it easier for people to pay with their mobile devices, using any card that is stored on file.

The Pay With Google payment system allows people to pay in an app or online using any verified credit or debit card without having to enter their details – instead they just pick up their card and enter a security code or authenticate with their device.


Pay with Google is also a versatile tool, as developers can add support for it with just a few lines of code through the Google Payment API, and have it work inside apps as well as the web via Chrome.

Biometrics Gaining Ground in the Southern Hemisphere

Visa announced a four-year process for Australian banks to adopt new biometric authentication standards for e-commerce transactions, designed to streamline the purchasing process and reduce fraud. 

Consumers won't need to remember PINs and card numbers anymore when shopping online and in the real world, as the biometric authentication process would be fully automated and authentication has already been completed earlier in the process.

At the same time, MasterCard has unveiled the next generation biometric card, combining chip technology with fingerprints to verify the cardholder's identity for in-store purchases. South Africa was the first market to test the technology. Smart cards have already been used in the past with various degree of success to store biometric credentials.