Austrian banks up card security for foreign travel

Austrian banks up card security for foreign travel
Photo: APA
If you have an Austrian ATM card and plan to withdraw cash whilst travelling outside of Europe and the US you will soon be asked to authorise your card before travelling, in an effort by banks to prevent card fraud.

From December 15th it will be necessary to notify your bank before you travel to countries which still use magnetic strip technology with a pin code, if you wish to use your ATM card.

The card will then remain activated for one or three months – the shorter the time, the less likely you are to be the victim of fraud, banks say.

Banks have taken this step, called GeoControl, after an increase in ‘skimming fraud’ – where criminal gangs use hidden electronics at cash machines to copy the magnetic strip on your card, record your PIN number, and clone your card.  

In Europe and the US this type of fraud doesn’t work as ATMs only let you withdraw money with your card’s chip and PIN number. 

If you forget to authorise your card for cash withdrawals before travelling, it is also possible to do it via online banking or by calling your bank’s customer service line.

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