To safeguard depositors from fraudulent transactions, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said that it has issued specific regulations for the security of payment cards and internet banking, under which banks are required to develop and implement comprehensive framework for risk assessment, implementation of controls and monitoring.
In a statement, the SBP said that debit cards with a magnetic strip on its back – that stores customer’s account details – are particularly vulnerable to skimming and cloning. Debit cards, complying with EMV (Europay Mastercard Visa) standards, featuring a chip and offering two-factor authentication are now considered most effective countermeasure for card cloning through skimming globally. Accordingly, SBP vide its circular PSD 05 of 2016 issued regulations for Payment Cards Security wherein banks are required to develop infrastructure for EMV Compliance and issue cards by 30th June 2018.
The SBP’s statement comes after hundreds of bank customers reported fraudulent transactions and unauthorised withdrawals from their accounts. Customers’ information on debit cards of Habib Bank Limited was compromised by hackers through skimming to create its clones and used to withdraw money from various locations within and outside the country.
In response, HBL has now started to return the money to depositors to the extent of their losses.