Pakistani travellers left cash strapped as major banks close international transactions


LAHORE — Multiple major Pakistani banks have suspended debit cards international transactions facility after another rumoured dump of debit and credit cards was leaked on the dark web.

In a text message sent to customers, the banks informed, “Due to system maintenance and security precaution your debit card has been temporarily disabled for international ATM cash withdrawal, POS and e-commerce.”

A message transmitted to customers

The new development left thousands of Pakistani bank customers, who are travelling or residing abroad, in the lurch.

However, customers can use their debit cards for local transactions and they can also re-activate overseas transactions by calling the respective helpline on their own risk.

Last week, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had issued instructions regarding bank cards after a cyber-attack on Bank Islami Pakistan.

Bank Islami’s $6 million stolen in Pakistan’s biggest security breach

The alleged security breach first came to light when customers of the bank received automated messages about their payment cards being used in different countries including Russia.

According to SBP, the use of the bank’s cards had been temporarily suspended for overseas transactions after the attack.

“As a result of the security breach of payment cards of one of the banks in Pakistan yesterday and their unauthorized use on different delivery channels i.e. at ATMs and POS in different countries, the bank has temporarily restricted usage of its cards for overseas transactions,” the central bank had said in a statement.

Moreover, the central bank had further issued directives to all banks in Pakistan to ensure Security measures on all IT systems including those related to card operations.



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