Home >Industry >Banking >Over 32 lakh debit cards recalled, banks ask customers to change ATM PIN

Mumbai: More than 32 lakh debit cards of customers have been blocked or recalled by banks to prevent them from falling prey to any financial fraud after a major security breach at a payment services provider that manages ATM network of a private sector bank.

While some of the banks like SBI have re-called around six lakh cards, others like Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank, Central Bank and Andhra Bank have already replaced their debit cards which are effected as a pre-emptive measure.

Some of the lenders like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Yes Bank have asked customers to change their ATM pin numbers. HDFC Bank also advised its customers to use its own ATMs for carrying out any transaction.

The suspected security breach happened through a malware in the systems of Hitachi Payments Services, which serves Yes Bank. Hitachi provides payment services through ATM services, point of sale services (POS), emerging payments services and banking channel products like cash recycling ATMs and auto passbook entry machines.

In light of the incident, Yes Bank’s managing director and chief executive Rana Kapoor underlined the need for a greater vigilance on outsourced work.

“There needs to be a lot more vigilance where there are outsourcing partners to make sure they don’t endanger the delivery and system risk, and there’s a fair amount of policing as far as outsourcing risks are concerned," he told reporters.

According to bankers, the breach took place in such a way that anyone using the said bank’s ATMs in the region might stand to get affected.

State Bank of India in a statement said, “Card network companies NPCI, MasterCard and Visa had informed various banks about a potential risk to some cards owing to a data breach.

Accordingly, we have taken precautionary measures and have blocked cards of certain customers identified by the networks."

SBI deputy managing director and chief operating officer Manju Agarwal explained that the data breach took place between May and July, but was discovered only in September and so the bank decided to proactively change the cards.

“As soon as we came to know financial data being stolen, we asked our customers to change the ATM pin numbers. Despite instructions only 7% of the customers changed their pin numbers. At that point we decided to recall cards as we did not want our to customers to be at any risk," she said.

She, however, declined to give the number of debit cards the bank has recalled, but sources said it was around six lakh cards. SBI has issued nearly 20 crore debit cards.

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