A man takes out his credit card and ID to cancel a purchase at a supermarket. The total value is about 20 dollars.

He extends his hand to hand over the documents to the cashier. But she quickly tells him that she can’t take the card anymore and that she has to do it herself, inserting it into the device.

The customer, somewhat confused, asks the clerk why he can no longer take the card and make a direct payment like a few weeks ago. She points to a sign taped to the side of the box.

“Following international security regulations, it is necessary that our associates do not manipulate their bank cards. Present your card directly to Datafast as instructed by the associate and present identification to confirm your identity,” the sign reads.

It is the same sign that is found on all the cash registers of that establishment of the supermarket chain in Guayaquil.

Signs have been placed at all locations of that chain as part of the new payment rules.

In other supermarkets of another chain, although there is no indication of the measure, customers who pay by card are invited to make the payment directly at the cash register, that is, to insert the card into the payment device.

The KFC chain and the mega gym are located in the Narcisa de Jesús highway area

This newspaper found that other businesses in Guayaquil that charge by card have started using this method: the customer must bring his card and cancel it to prevent the employee from taking it.

A store that sells party items in the north of Guayaquil has acquired devices that allow smart cards with chips to be read. This is so that its users do not hand over their card to the ATM, but do it themselves.

The shop assistant at that store said that she now charges this way to make the customer feel more secure about paying.

These measures come at a time when credit card users in Ecuador have complained about credit card abuse. During this year, users reported that their cards were used for purchases they did not authorize.

Some affected people reported that they used their cards to buy plane tickets, subscribe to platforms or make purchases on websites without leaving the country.

Banks have cases of clients in such circumstances, and even a format for dealing with claims. Customers are told that in order to avoid being charged for these purchases, they must make a processing of unrecognized card consumption. It’s a process that starts with blocking the card and filling out a form with information about the consumption that you say you didn’t make.

The client who made this claim commented that this year he made payments with his credit card that he did not make, complained to the bank, but had to wait more than two months to find out that the entity did not charge him for the consumption. “I was late with the answer, because the bank left me inside wait that spending, but I had to wait for weeks until the bank discovered that I hadn’t made those purchases,” he said.

He believes that these expenses were incurred when he handed over the card at the gas station. So he believes that just as businesses use these devices to allow customers to directly pay for a transaction, gas stations need to implement a mechanism that prevents the dispatcher from taking the plastic.

‘They spent almost $1,000 from my credit card in plane tickets on a foreign airline in a few hours’

During this year, there were a total of more than 2,000 complaints about fraudulent misappropriation by electronic means, but this number may be higher because bank clients first decide to find a solution with the entity.

What are the common forms of fraud?

There are banks in Ecuador that have tried to educate their customers about cyber fraud this year. Some gave lectures on the line and others forwarded an email to their customers to warn them.

The most common fraud techniques are:

Identity theft: It’s data theft using email phishing.

vishing: Variant of phishing which uses calls to victims.

smiling: It is a variant of phishingvia SMS or WhatsApp messages.

Digital payments are growing

Digital payments in Ecuador, along with the country’s e-commerce industry, are growing rapidly. According to data from Américas Market Intelligence, it is estimated that digital payments and commerce on the line It will grow by 25% during 2023.

According to research published by Paysafe, a payment solutions company that offers PagoEfectivo, a payment method that has entered the Ecuadorian market and allows online purchases and cancellations without a card, 42% of Ecuadorians use payments on the line shop in e-commerce, and about 32% for the purchase of a ticket for an event, an order delivery for food or to pay for a vacation flight. 64% of consumers have already made payments on the line.