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Sainsbury’s Bank to invest in anti-fraud security

Sainsbury's Bank plans to invest GBP3.5 million on security around its 885 cash machines, according to a report in the press, to prevent card skimming.

Sainsbury’s Bank, which is 55% owned by grocer J Sainsbury and 45% by UK banking group HBOS, has recorded a 260% rise in fraud at its cash machines over the last five years. We are committed to ensuring our machines are among the safest in the country, said Kevin Barrett from Sainsbury’s told the Guardian.

Bank research shows that GBP21.4 million was taken illegally in the first three months of the year, which is 54% up from the same period in 2005. Much of the fraud is carried out by ‘skimming’, the report added. Skimming is a method of counterfeiting bank cards by fixing an electronic device to the fascia of cash machine which can copy card details.

Although cash machine fraud is down 12% in the UK from 2004 following the introduction of chip and PIN (the chip cannot be copied) fraudsters are now apparently sending the details abroad to countries which do not implement the system. Shell fell victim to the practice in May 2006 when fraudsters hijacked customers’ accounts using details from a device at a UK petrol station.