The Commonwealth Bank ups the ante on security

Sydney, 1 December 2009: The Commonwealth Bank has announced plans to further bolster its retail security systems including anti-skimming devices on ATMs as part of its bid to provide the most secure banking experience for customers.

The Bank has outlined a number of new initiatives designed to provide customers with a greater sense of safety and comfort when transacting.

“In the current climate one of the key issues for customers is security and protection of their finances and personal banking information. We continually look at our security systems across all of our customer channels and have identified a number of ways that we can further safeguard our customers, their money and their information,” Group Executive Retail Banking Services Ross McEwan, said.

Mr McEwan outlined a number of new initiatives currently being rolled out by the Commonwealth Bank including:

  • Anti-skimming devices across its automatic teller machines (ATMs);
  • Voice activated telephone alerts (Adeptra) for suspected fraudulent credit card transactions enabling increased card security for customers;
  • Gas detection and dye systems in ATMs to deter tampering;
  • Two factor identification for online card and NetBank transactions; and
  • Continued roll-out of “Chip Authentication” on credit and debit cards, making card payments more secure.

“The anti-skimming devices are a significant security investment for the Bank and will assist in preventing fraudulent activity. We have been piloting these systems and are implementing them across the Bank’s ATM network,” said Mr McEwan.

“For would-be criminals the new anti-skimming devices will not be visible which may also assist in apprehending perpetrators,” he said.

Mr McEwan said the Bank had also recently bolstered its credit card fraud notification system so that customers are contacted even more quickly should any potentially suspicious transactions occur on their account.

“We continually monitor credit card transactions of customers to identify unusual or potentially fraudulent activity.  With the introduction of the voice activated Adeptra telephone alert system, we can now contact customers within seconds of any potentially fraudulent activity,” he said.

Mr McEwan said the system triggers an automated call to the customer to ascertain the legitimacy of a recent transaction via a pre-recorded script followed by prompts to follow for further action where required.

“While this does not completely eradicate fraudulent activity, it does ensure that accounts can be shut down quickly to limit the impact on the customer, and allow remediation action to begin quickly and efficiently to return customers’ funds.”

Mr McEwan said the Bank is committed to continuously improving security for customers.

“Fraudsters and thieves are unfortunately becoming more and more sophisticated and bold in their methods and we are committed to investing whatever we need to in order to stay ahead of their game.”


Media looking for more information contact:

Sarah Gibbons

Commonwealth Bank

Ph: (02) 9378 5096

Customers looking for more information about personal financial and online security should visit