Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Banking transactions using the automated teller machines (ATMs) dropped drastically following last week’s card forgery, officials said.
Inter-bank transactions worth over BDT 2.53 billion were recorded in the first 15 days of this month (February) through the ATM booths with the daily average coming to more than BDT 181.0 million.
The data showed the recorded transactions worth around BDT 2.38 billion in the first 13 days until the card-skimming scandal came to light through both print and electronic media.
On February 14, when the country’s most national dailies and private television channels covered the acts of financial fraud, the withdrawal rate drastically came down to around BDT 46.0 million.
Inter-bank daily average transactions through shared ATM booths are worth BDT 150 million-BDT 200 million under the NPSB (National Payment Switch Bangladesh). But it reaches an average amount of BDT 2.40 billion per day if both inter-bank and own transaction of all banks are included, a central banker explained.
Currently, 22 switches are operating under the NPSB, 21 of which are being used by the banks concerned while the remaining one by the Information Technology Consultants Limited (ITCL).
The NPSB was introduced on December 27, 2012, aiming to facilitate efficient, safe and secure payment system.
“We expect that the volume of such trasaction will increse gradully following different measures, taken by the central bank that would help restore confidence of the clients holding debit and credit cards,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.
He also said the central bank is still working to minimize such digital fruads through improving security features of the banks.
Most of the cardholders are shying away from the smart payment system following media report that information of over 200 debit/credit cards of 26 banks had been initially found stolen from ATM booths during February 6-12 period.
A businessman said he had almost stopped drawing bank money using ATM booths for the last several days following last week’s card forgery.