In light of the most recent attempt to rob an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in the middle of Panjim, a few questions come to mind – how secure are ATMs in Goa really? Why has security become so lapse and such a major issue nowadays?
Lack of security is a definite concern at ATMs
The latest attempt of a robbery at an ATM, in this case, the Bank of Maharashtra ATM located on M.G road in Panjim was foiled by the brave watchman on duty. Similar robbery attempts have been made at other ATMs across the country. Some have resulted in the ATM being stripped of cash. Others have been cases where individuals have been attacked at the ATM itself for the money they have withdrawn. If I recall correctly, four years ago, a lady in Bengaluru was attacked at an ATM that is located at the corner of a very busy junction in the heart of the city.
This same topic was brought up on Radio Indigo this morning. Security at ATMs has become extremely lapse. Most of the time, the ATMs are not even maintained with the air-conditioning knocked out and not repaired. Sometimes the lighting in the ATMs is absolutely dingy, making it difficult for anyone to see what they are doing. Often there is more than 1 ATM inside the same space which means you have multiple people entering at all times.
Another question asked was what level of special training do these guards have? I would assume some basic level training is required but have a suspicion that they have absolutely none. It’s probably why nine times out of ten if you go to an ATM to withdraw money at night, the guard is fast asleep and won’t even stir if a firecracker goes off.
How secure are today’s ATMs?
I remember a time, probably ten years ago or more, when ATMs had an electronic lock on the door. That meant only someone with an ATM card could enter and the door would stay locked until the person was done. After which the door could only be opened from inside. Granted, this incident was caught on the CCTV but if you watch it, it didn’t exactly catch the robber’s face so what’s the use? Never mind the fact that Goa quite lacks the means to track people down through CCTV footage.
I found an article on the Internet that could share some helpful insights into security issues at ATMs. Though this article was written on the basis of taking ATMs abroad into consideration, am quite sure it could be used for ATMs here in Goa as well as extend to the entire country. You can read it here.
Write in to us if you have any more to say on the topic. It’s definitely a debatable one and one that we need to call the attention of the authorities to. This is an issue that is highly in need of addressing. Next time you go to an ATM, observe the state of things in and around the area and gauge for yourself how safe and secure it really is.