The two Bulgarians Nikolay Petev Nedyalkov 24, and Peter Petrov Yardanov 33 are alleged to have withdrawn money from the accounts of customers of some banks in Ghana using Gh-link platform which is operated by GHIPPS. The police yesterday announced it had arrested the two Bulgarians for allegedly cloning ATM cards and making the withdrawals.
Speaking to Citi Business News the Chief Executive Officer of GHIPPS Archie Hesse said the Gh-link platform is robust and cannot be used by fraudsters as it only serves as an intermediary for the bank’s ATM transactions. He argues that the issuing banks should rather be blamed for the alleged ATM fraud as the card they issued known as a ‘magstripe card’ can easily be cloned.
“The security of the Gh-link is robust however what happens is that the card which the bank issued is what we call the magstripe card. Worldwide all banks are moving from the magstripe card to EMV cards as the EMV card is a standard which is safer than the magstripe card.
So in this particular instance for the customers of the prudential bank, the card that was issued is a magstripe card which is an unsafe card’. A magstripe card – magnetic stripe card is a type of card capable of storing data by modifying the magnetism of tiny iron-based magnetic particles on a band of magnetic material on the card.
Archie Hesse tells Citi Business the banks have been asked to issue a global standard card for credit and debit payment based on chip card technology, Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) cards which are more robust and cannot be cloned.
‘The individual gentlemen that are Bulgarians cloned the card which means they copied the card and used it somewhere else which means it had nothing to do with the central switch which is switching it between banks but in terms of whether it is a genuine bank or not the responsibility rest on the banks.
We have taken notice of that we are meeting with all banks and we want them to nationwide move from magstripe card to the EMV cards.
It is very very difficult to clone the EMV cards.” He said. It is unclear how many banks are involved but according to the police, it began tracking the activities of the two Bulgarians after one of the affected banks made a report.
Prudential bank also on December 7, 2015, also petitioned the Criminal Investigations Department of the police, concerning complaints it had received from some of its customers about a series of unauthorized ATM withdrawals from their accounts using the Gh-link platform