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BSP: Most complaints are about unauthorized ATM withdrawals

Most of the complaints that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) receives are cases unauthorized withdrawals from automated teller machines (ATMs).

BSP Assistant Governor for Financial Supervision Research and Consumer Protection Subsector Johnny Noe Ravalo told reporters in a press conference on Friday that complaints about unauthorized withdrawals are surprising given that only one percent of the payments that Filipinos make are electronic.

The remaining 99 percent are still in cash or checks.

Ravalo noted that complaints on unauthorized ATM withdrawal are due to skimming devices developed by hackers and unsecured passwords.

“Tandaan niyo po na kahit manakaw 'yung card niyo e ‘di basta basta magagamit dahil may password. Kaya po paulit-ulit po kami na gumamit ng password na hindi madaling hulaan,” he said.

The central bank official reiterated that the public must refrain from using as passwords the digits ‘12345678,’ the word ‘password,’ and one’s birth-date or address.

To counter ATM skimming devices, Ravalo said the BSP has mandated banks to shift from magnetic strip technology to chip enabled ATM and credit cards in 2013 because card’s information in a chip is more difficult to hack than those with magnetic strip.

“If you’re not careful kasi pag na-skim na ‘yung card ninyo pati password name-memorize …so [from] magnetic strip, we are moving from strip to chip…in ATM cards and credit cards,” he said.

“We have given a three-year deadline - the deadline for compliance is January 2017 - to enable retailers, stores to adjust with the chip enabled cards,” he added.

Ravalo also took note that from 2009, the central bank received 33,000 complaints, inquiries, and request.

He said noted that the rising number of complaints is actually an indication that the consumer protection side is getting better. “Because alam po nila na meron silang mapupuntahan,” Ravalo said. — VVP, GMA News