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ATM card replacement deadline extended

24 October 2013, 11:38

Nairobi - The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has extended the deadline to replace the magnetic stripe automated teller machine (ATM) cards with the new generation cards fitted with memory chips.

The new deadline has been set for March 31.

The deadline has been extended by six months in order to enable all card holders comply with the new requirements.

This follows complaints that beating the initial deadline was impossible due to the lengthy certification procedures.

KBA chief executive, Habil Olaka, said the measure to replace the cards seeks to curb widespread ATM fraud involving the use of the magnetic strip ATM cards.

It is alleged that fraudsters have been able to illegally access customers’ account details through a process called “skimming.”

Olaka said skimming was not possible with the new Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV)- compliant PIN and chip ATM cards.

Prominent card firm, MasterCard, has meanwhile added its voice on the issue saying that the EMV technology was the most effective way of fighting fraud.

Olaka said the transition to the new card system was progressing well.

According to the official, 96 percent of ATMs have now been upgraded.

Point-of-sale (POS) terminals are expected to be EMV-compliant by the end of the year.

As at July, he said, there were about 2 500 ATMs in the country and close to 19 400 POS sale terminals.

There were more than 9 million debit cards and 135 700 credit cards in circulation as at July.

Meanwhile, banks have introduced SMS and e-mail alerts informing customers of any transactions in the accounts in a bid to curb fraud cases.

– CAJ News


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