ATMs are attacked almost daily, resulting in massive damage. As time passes by, we see criminals using increasingly heavier tools; forcing banks to implement far-reaching and radical countermeasures. The arms race between banks and criminals using explosive attacks is in full effect. This arms race can only be broken by taking away the potential reward, by irreversibly degrading the cash in case of any attack.
This philosophy led Mactwin to develop GlueFusion; an ATM cash cassette with a built-in module for degradation by glue. Upon activation, GlueFusion glues all individual banknotes together in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but a worthless, solid brick of paper. If anyone tries to peel off a single banknote, it will immediately tear into small pieces. The applied glue cannot be dissolved or removed in any other way. Whereas criminals are usually quite successful in finding ways to spend (or launder) ink-smudged banknotes, this will be impossible with glued or torn banknotes. The cash is completely worthless, because nobody will accept a brick of paper or mere shreds as payment. Nor will they fit into automated payment terminals.
What makes GlueFusion unique?
Mactwin has developed GlueFusion in close cooperation with commercial banks, CIT companies, police and the Dutch Central Bank.
The following features make GlueFusion unique and effective:
User friendly and safe
GlueFusion is easily installed in any current ATM and is easy to use. The chance of user error is minimal and false activations are near impossible, regardless whether you are replenishing or swapping cassettes. GlueFusion has been declared safe to use by CIT companies, banking industry HSE managers and independent occupational health and safety agency Arbode Consultancy.
GlueFusion always works; against any type of attack and regardless of the magnitude of an explosion. In addition, the unauthorised removal or opening of the cash cassette will also lead to immediate activation, glueing the banknotes together.
GlueFusion can be easily integrated with other (third party) sensors or systems in and around the ATM.
GlueFusion requires minimal maintenance, which can be performed remotely, reducing costs and increasing ATM availability.
Reimbursement by central bank
Banks and authorised CIT companies can return glued banknotes to the central bank, for reimbursement.
Operation and Integration
GlueFusion does not impose any requirements on other security measures and fits seamlessly in the banks’ focused approach to stop attacks on ATMs. As a stand-alone solution, GlueFusion is triggered by sensors inside the cash cassette. Unauthorised removal or opening of the cassette will lead to immediate activation, gluing the banknotes together.
If you combine GlueFusion with early warning sensors, quick response, crisp CCTV footage and DNA markers, you will significantly increase the chances of apprehending the criminal. The crime will be recorded, giving you information on the criminal and their Modus Operandi. This will make investigation, apprehension and prosecution of the criminal so much easier. Combined with e.g. shutter detection and gas sensors, you will be able to limit or even prevent damage from an explosive attack.
Beat ATM & CIT crime at the source
Cash money is very appealing to criminals; always has been, always will be as long as there is cash money in circulation. Over the years, there have been quite some changes in the types of attack. In many (European) countries, bank robberies occur less and les, because there is hardly any cash on site. The ATM has taken over this role and has subsequently become a target. The CIT business is also a target for extremely violent robberies. To break the arms race between criminals and the cash handling industry, we believe we need to address the problem at the source: remove the reward to remove the crime.
Attacks on ATMs
Explosive attacks on ATMs happen on a daily basis in many countries. Criminals use trucks and excavators to ram the ATM out of the wall and explosive gas (often a mixture of acetylene and oxygen) or solid explosives, like hand grenades and plastic explosives, to access the cash cassettes in the ATM. If necessary, the door to the vault area is rammed with a ‘battering ram’ attached to a car. Since a couple of years, off premise ATMs in supermarket have also become a target for criminals. The damage involved in these attacks is enormous. So it makes perfect sense that banks show an interest in solutions like the GPU (Gas Protection Unit) and GlueFusion (cash degradation with glue, inside cash cassettes).
Attacks on CIT
Cash handling has many aspects; from delivery of the cash, servicing ATMs and transporting cash, to counting and sorting in the cash centers. Every aspect has its own risk moments, positions and MO’s (Modi Operandi). During attacks on the Cash in Transit operation, criminals are using increasingly heavier and more dangerous weaponry. Automatic firearms and plastic explosives are used to shoot at and blow up armored trucks. The CIT custodian is also frequently a target of an attack. In the Netherlands, attacks on the custodians are very rare these days. Main reason for the decline of this MO is the use of the MactwinBox, with irreversible cash degradation.
The future of attacks on the Cash Handling industry
By using irreversible cash degradation on a large scale in ATMs and CIT operations, the number of physical attacks will decrease drastically and criminals will be forced to explore other targets. We don’t really expect them to get honest jobs (wishful thinking), but believe their focus will shift further towards cybercrime (e.g. jackpotting). In the next couple of years, organizations will need to invest substantially in improving their digital defensibility.