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Browse Prior Art Database

Alert Pin for Personal Banking Terminals

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000104652D
Original Publication Date: 1993-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 4 page(s) / 206K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Martino, MJ: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In a banking system using an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) which is also known as a Personal Banking Terminal, means is provided for an authorized individual secretly to inform the system that he is under duress; that is, his session is not under his control but that of another individual. When thus alerted that a customer's session is not legitimate (from the individual's point of view), previously defined system actions can be taken.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 26% of the total text.

Alert Pin for Personal Banking Terminals

      In a banking system using an Automatic Teller Machine (ATM)
which is also known as a Personal Banking Terminal, means is provided
for an authorized individual secretly to inform the system that he is
under duress; that is, his session is not under his control but that
of another individual.  When thus alerted that a customer's session
is not legitimate (from the individual's point of view), previously
defined system actions can be taken.

      Electronic systems which require a user to identify himself and
establish his authority to execute certain transactions are becoming
common.  There are, within many business establishments, systems
which provide for electronic mail, payroll processing, accounts
receivable processing and program development in addition to other
applications far too numerous to mention.  The use of personal
computers in the home to access extensive communications networks is
increasing.  Automatic Teller Machine (ATMs) are virtually everywhere
and their capabilities are expanding.  There are ATMs attached to
banking networks that permit the withdrawal of cash and the transfer
of funds from one account to another to name two common place
applications.  This trend extends even to the telephone system where
long distance telephone calls are made without operator intervention
based on the possession of a 'phone card' that authorizes the call.

      In order to provide for transaction security and definite
customer identification, many of these systems require the user or
customer to provide a magnetically coded card and a personal
identification number (PIN).  If the correct PIN is provided to the
system, the transaction is completed.  If an incorrect PIN is
entered, the transaction is aborted.  In some systems, if the PIN is
incorrectly entered a number of times, the customer's card is
confiscated.

      None of these systems provide any way for a legitimate user who
is under the physical control of an unauthorized individual to take
any action to protect himself by calling for help without the
knowledge of the unauthorized person.  While instances of such
situations do not seem to be wide-spread today, they may become more
frequent as more systems are placed in use and more opportunities for
such criminal behavior are created.

      This article describes a means for a legitimate user to
secretly inform a system that his actions are not freely taken.  Once
alerted, the system can respond in any of a number of predetermined
ways ranging from 'record the alert only, take no action' to
'dispatch appropriate authorities to this location.' A system with
this capability provides a deterrent to criminal behavior, a sense of
safety to its legitimate users and a means of system self protection
in the event of a coerced, unauthorized access.

      There are seven constraints that a method to provide this
silent alarm should meet.  First, it shoul...