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NAC Responds to Commentary on U.S. Retail ATM Skimming Survey

Dear U.S. ATM ISOs/IADs,

It was with sincere disappointment that we read ATMIA CEO Mike Lee's recent attack on the U.S. Retail ATM Skimming Survey/survey results announced last month by NAC. Why a supposed ATM industry representative would seek to undermine survey results informing the public that retail ATMs are safe and secure to use is beyond us. When 9 out of 10 ATM providers - more than 1/2 of whom have been in the ATM business 10+ years - tell you they have never encountered a skimmer on their ATM routes - that's something to celebrate, not attack.

The NAC survey had nothing whatsoever to do with whether "credit" or "debit" cards were involved. Yet Mr. Lee's article makes a big deal about a minor reference in the NAC press release. All one needed to do was review the survey, which asked whether ISOs/IADs had ever encountered a skimmer on their ATM routes, and he/she would conclude that card types were irrelevant. In response to our question, 93% said they had never found a skimmer on their ATMs...period, end of story. There was nothing tricky or ambiguous about the question or answer.

Another misplaced aspect of Mr. Lee's posting was his suggestion that the ATM providers surveyed (more responded to this NAC survey than to the recent ATMIA EMV survey) had simply "missed" finding skimmers on their ATMs - because the crooks had put them on and taken them off with such lightning speed - the ATM owners/retailers never knew what happened.

Unfortunately, real world transaction volumes at retail ATMs mean that skimmers would have to stay in place for an average of at least a couple of days just to capture the minimum amount of card transaction data needed to justify placement. Someone must have been thinking of bank ATMs - with their exponentially higher volumes - rather than retail ATMs - when reference was made to these skimming "quick hits".

Retail ATM providers are highly motivated to keep their ATMs skimmer-free, to ensure the public continues using these ATMs with complete confidence in their safety and reliability. In this regard, NAC is well aware of the higher skimming threat levels facing today's entire payments ecosystem, with the implementation of EMV at U.S. POS/ATMs/Gas Pumps now underway. We have advised our members accordingly - to "up their game" in the fight against skimming during the next 12-18 months. But, this current higher threat level does not change the survey results one bit, nor does it change the basic fact that retail ATMs are and will remain less likely skimming targets than the unattended, much higher volume bank ATMs. The public needs and deserves to know this fact.

Respectfully Yours,



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