New ATM Skimmer Will Make your Money Disappear – Canadian Merchants Beware

Sep 13, 2014

The European ATM Security Team (EAST) reports that it has discovered a new mini-ATM skimmer. While traditional skimmers are made to sit on top of ATM card slots and record card numbers, this new skimmer fits inside the card reader’s throat. Although only one of EAST ‘s member countries has spotted the mini-skimmer, it is an insidious reminder that criminal technology is evolving as fast as security technology, and can affect your Canadian merchant account.

With the exception of its size, the mini-skimming device works like traditional skimming devices that use small cameras and magnetic strip readers to capture consumer card numbers and PIN numbers. EAST believes that the information stolen by the mini-skimmers will be sent to America where it will be used to create fraudulent credit/debit cards, as the U.S. has yet to fully implement the EMV chip-and-PIN security standard. Many card issuers and American citizens still use credit/debit cards with magnetic strips. These magnetic strips are much easier to recreate than the new EMV chip cards.

The mini-skimmer is the latest new technological effort to commit fraud across the globe. ATM card skimming ranked high on the list of bank concerns in 2013, according to a Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. An ATM filled with money is still a big draw for criminals, despite the risk of being discovered or captured. Skimming has become the leading way that criminals steal the sensitive financial data of consumers across the world. Each ATM skimming attack costs the affected bank $50,000 in losses.

Now ATM security coalitions are fighting back. ATM manufacturer rivals, Wincor Nixdorf and Diebold, have created an ATM security association that will provide information on how to avoid skimming attacks. They will also promote a variety of technologies used currently by banks across the world to prevent skimming. One piece of technology is a video camera with behavioral analytics that alerts authorities if a person is standing in front of an ATM for a period of time.

American merchant accounts are not the only ones threatened by the new ATM skimmers. Canadian merchant accounts are also vulnerable as reports of recent credit card breaches, despite early EMV implementation are now surfacing. Experts note that consumers must be active participants in stopping fraud. To decrease the risk of fraud, consumers must be extremely protective of their credit card information and monitor their finances on an annual basis.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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