Touchless ATMs are a way to avoid card skimmers

(Courtesy: Bank of America)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Credit card skimming is a billion-dollar criminal industry banks are constantly trying to prevent.

A credit card skimmer is a device attached to a card reader that records its information. They are often found on gas pumps and ATMs.

“Criminals are always looking at ways to take advantage of customers,” said Colin Barrett, President and CEO of the Tennessee Bankers Association. “Banks are investing billions of dollars each year to make sure they have cutting edge technology.”

One of those advancements is the touchless ATM. Bank of America has several around Middle Tennessee.

The ATM has a touchless card reader that the customer places their smartphone close to when using the machine. The customer pulls up their card in their digital wallet and it communicates with the ATM.

(Courtesy: Bank of America)

“It wasn’t long ago that when we talked about fraud as an industry. We talked about physical security,” Barrett said. “Banks are heavily investing in the IT side to make sure that information is protected.”

Barrett told News 2 as soon as banks increase technological security, criminals figure out how to get around the barriers.

“As soon as you see a new technology being released in the field, it might seem new to you, meanwhile the banks are already working on the next generation of that,” he said.

Joe Kolodka is visiting Nashville from Ohio. He stopped at a Bank of America ATM at Second Avenue and Commerce to withdraw cash on Monday.

“I will always check a machine for a skimmer,” he said. “If there is anything not attached, or if it looks funky, I won’t even use it.”

Kolodka had his credit card number compromised last month.

“My daughter got married a few weeks ago, and two weeks before the wedding, I am without a card because it got ripped off,” he said. “I wish we would go to the Canadian system where you have to show an ID with everything.”

Bank of America said the smartphone also adds a level of security because most people keep their phones password locked or in the case of IPhones a fingerprint is required to unlock the phone.