A new mobile phone feature created by Diebold will allow customers to turn debit and ATM cards on and off using a text message from their phone.
The security feature, dubbed Card Lock, is intended to prevent the unauthorized use of cards, according to FierceFinanceIt.com. Once a card has been turned off from its corresponding mobile phone, transactions will not be possible.
"This is exactly the kind of capability we've been calling for in our bank safety scorecards, where banks can enable new technology to lower, rather than just increase, risk, all by putting more control in the literal hands of the customer," James Van Dyke, the president and founder of Javelin Strategy and Research, said, according to the AmericanBanker.com.
The new service is currently being tested by an unnamed bank and is already being offered at the Diebold Federal Credit Union, which services the company’s own employees.
Customers who enroll and register for Card Lock are able to send a text with the single word “lock” to their mobile banking service to stop transactions on their debit and ATMs cards. Once a customer has found their card, they can text “unlock” in order to resume transactions, according to FierceFinanceIt.com.
Financial service experts said this feature would appeal to banks and credit card issuers because it allows cardholders to feel in control of their own card security.
Other observers, however, have said that Card Lock runs the risk of having card accounts hacked by cyber thieves and that Diebold could enhance Card Lock’s security by partnering with processors to develop better controls for online transactions.
"ID criminals have sometimes stayed one step ahead of bankers and vendors by attacking through the customer," Van Dyke said, according to AmericanBanker.com. "Empowerment, versus just a back-end authentication or detection capability, is the future."