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CARDS & PAYMENTS | Cesar Tordesillas, Malaysia
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Malaysian banks to relocate off-site ATMs for security purposes

A spate of high-profile robberies in the Klang Valley had Malaysian banks thinking of removing ATMs in malls, supermarkets, petrol and rail stations.

 

The banks have been losing hundreds of thousands of ringgit from these off-site ATMs in four months, the mostrecent being RM1.17 million stolen from ATMs at the Carrefour hypermarket in Wangsa Maju, a densely-populated suburb in Kuala Lumpur, on July 1.

Two weeks ago, a gang of thieves broke into an ATM at another supermarket in Taman Melawati and got away with RM80,000. On June 12, RM48,000 was stolen from an ATM in the Subang Jaya commuter train station.

In May, RM260,000 was looted from ATMs in two separate incidents — one at a mall in Balakong and the other atthe University LRT stop in the city.

In March, thieves stole RM200,000 from an ATM in Universiti Malaya, the country’s premier institute of higher education.

Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, Maybank chief executive and bank association chairman, said banks were evaluating and rating their ATMs placed “off-site” nationwide according to their risk levels.

“Off-site” ATMs refer to machines placed outside banks such as at petrol stations, shopping complexes,

hypermarkets and supermarkets and the light-rail transport and commuter train stations.

According to NST, there are some 9,200 ATMs nationwide as at December last year, but it did not state how manywere located off-site.

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