Desjardins cuts debit amounts

Desjardins Group last month cut back the maximum amount of money its customers can withdraw from another bank’s ATMs in an attempt to stem losses from debit-card fraud.

In an October statement the Montreal-based financial service provider said the maximum amount a client can withdraw through another institution’s ATMs would be $500, down from $1,000 previously.

If customers want to withdraw more than $500, they have to visit Desjardins ATMs, which require users to confirm their identities by entering their dates of birth, the firm said.

Although the institution prides itself on being the only Canadian company to adopt the date-of-birth security system, “Desjardins has observed that defrauders make increasing use of the Interac network to bypass this obstacle,” reads the statement.

Desjardins said its caisse members carry out more than 400 million direct-payment transactions on point-of-sale systems and 320 million ATM transactions each year. “Though it is rising, the debit-card cloning phenomenon does not at all challenge the security of the computer system that manages these transactions,” Desjardins’ statement said.

The company took the opportunity to remind customers to hide their personal identification numbers when using ATMs and point-of-sale terminals.

Desjardins has over 5 million members and clients, and assets worth more than $100 billion.

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