STEPHEN S. COLE
President and chief executive
Cash Station Inc.
We are cooperating with the Shared Network Executives Association, a trade group consisting of top people at every major, ATM network in the United States and the Secret Service.
The goal is to exchange of information about what's going on in certain areas of the country. This will enable members to provide quick responses to the Secret Service.
We are putting together a telephone directory so that when somebody knows, for, example that fraud is "going down" in Chicago, that, person will know who to contact.
Outside of specific efforts like this, networks like us are generally gathering data. I do think there is a need, though, to bring in the financial institutions.
We're not aware of many incidents in financial institutions. By the same token, there may be incidents that financial institutions would just as soon keep private. While the Secret Service may have relationships with financial institutions, usually in the wire fraud and wire transfer areas, we need to ensure that the retail side has lines of communications established as well.
Debit card fraud clearly isn't rampant. But as debit becomes more ubiquitous, criminals will try to crack the systems.
Plus System Inc.
Right now, we are participating with the various task forces that have been put together to develop procedures and processes to limit ATM fraud.
From a national perspective, it is very difficult for us to become actively involved in what members consider to be their proprietary business.
ATM deployment circumstances vary considerably by region, bank location, for that matter, machine location.
It is hard to develop national standards of performance that wouldn't impose a burden on our members with regard to their competitive positions.
While we are cooperating fully with the various task forces that have been put together by groups like the Electronic Banking Association, we have not undertaken an effort to draft requirements for our members.
Our members feel it is their decision, not a national organization's decision.
It's an interesting question, particularly in light of what happened to us in Connecticut when a phony ATM was installed in a mall and the crooks used the machines to acquire account numbers and [personal identification] numbers.
This crime, of course, heightened the security issue, but the fact is, we've had a program to help our members ever since the network was, put in place.
Among other things, every year we have a member conference. One of the central events of that conference is an ATM and electronic funds transfer security segment where we bring in experts in the field to report what's happening.
In addition, we offer our members a safety video that was produced by a group of networks for the explicit purpose of providing a good training tool. A substantial number of our 650 members order that video and presumably use it.
We also produce [consumer] safety stuffers for checking account statements. In a very straightforward way, these stuffers show people how to protect their cards and themselves.