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Can You Enter Any Bank After Hours With Credit Cards?

Posted By Jim On 05/24/2007 @ 9:16 am In Banking | 18 Comments

One day I was going to the Bank of America ATM after hours to make a deposit when I pulled out my debit card to swipe it at the door. It made the familiar clicking sound, I went in and stuck my card into the ATM. When I entered my PIN, the machine told me it was wrong and spit my card back out. That’s when I realized I had put my Citi mtvU card, which, when you only view the bottom quarter centimeter of the card in a wallet, looks remarkably like the Bank of America debit card; into the ATM. This also meant that I had swiped the front door with a credit card not affiliated with Bank of America. I went back and tried it again with a couple other credit cards and even a card with my fiancee’s name on it (we share a Discover Gas card), all of them worked!

This could’ve been a matter of the card reader scanning the card, processing the customer data and matching it with their database; in which case all would be well. Unfortunately I can’t test my theory out on Bank of America because I have an account there and I don’t have a credit card belonging to someone who doesn’t, but I can try to swipe at a local SunTrust after hours to see if my credit cards worked there. However, if any of you have local banks that have card readers and you don’t have an account there, try one of your cards to see if you can get access and please let us know. Maybe we’ve uncovered some hidden security flaw…


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