The Diebold ActivEdge ATM card reader: A turn for the better?

by. Suzanne Cluckey

The ATM industry has been working for a long, long time to come up with an unbeatable solution to the problem of card skimming. Vendors have introduced technologies based on card jitter, signal jamming, surface detection sensors, tamper-proof fascia designs, and the list goes on.

But, said Diebold Inc. EVP and Chief Innovation Officer Frank Natoli in a phone conversation with ATM Marketplace, “All of those have been overcome one by one — the good guys build a 10-foot wall and the bad guys build an 11-foot ladder.”

However, Diebold believes that its new card reader technology will shorten the ladder by several rungs. On Tuesday, the company introduced ActiveEdge, a card reader that is unskimmable by any currently known mechanism. An announcement explained why:

ActivEdge approaches skimming from a different angle, literally, by requiring users to insert cards into the reader via the long edge, instead of the traditional short edge. By shifting a card’s angle 90 degrees, ActivEdge prevents all modern skimming devices from reading the card’s full magnetic stripe, eliminating the devices’ ability to steal card data.

In addition, encrypted communication to the ATM’s central processing unit eliminates fraudsters’ ability to capture and track data. And each reader is paired with a specific ATM, making it pointless for a criminal to swap out the ActivEdge device with another card reader.

More News