New Card Skimming Prevention System Uses Smartphones, QR Codes

March 17, 2015

Devices that can skim a credit card number as a consumer pays at a kiosk or vending machine are a key challenge to payment and technology providers and a driving force behind EMV implementation in the U.S. BMO Harris Bank has recently launched a network of “cardless” ATMs in order to reduce skimming and lower transaction time, according to an article on It reduces skimming, because no card is swiped. Account holders use their mobile device and banking app to log in to their account and then choose how much they wish to withdraw. At the ATM, they hit the mobile cash button, allow it to read a QR code on the mobile device and receive their money. In addition to being secure against skimming, the transaction is reported to be 30 seconds shorter than the average ATM transaction.

QR codes are among the technologies enabling mobile payments in vending machines today. An increase in their use, especially pushed by such a large bank, could mean consumers will become more comfortable with QR codes in relation to payments and look for this option on vending machines.