Cover the keypad on ATMs


The ATMs that I have used in my area all seem to have a large key pad that is open and very visible to anyone standing nearby. In an age of ID theft and security awareness I think it would be a good idea to have a small covered barrier on each sides of the keypads so bystanders cannot see a user punching in their PIN numbers. I realize that it would be expensive to change all ATMs currently in use. Please consider this for the next machines you install. Sooner or later these current ATMs will come to the end of their life cycle and have to be replaced. The replacements you chose to install could be built to be more secure.  

BECU Employee
Status changed to: Under BECU Review

@American- Thanks for your idea and also for understanding the challenge and expense associated with retro-fitting all current machines.


We've got this idea out to our ATM Ops department to see what might be on the radar for newer machines and shared your desire for additional security. We'll keep you updated here! Cheers, KristinA 

BECU Employee
Status changed to: Not Right For Us

@American- I was able to have a great conversation with our ATM Ops area and learned a bunch of interesting research I wanted to share with you and our MIXers. We have in fact looked at this, and in observing user research, covering the keypad didn't actually provide the value you would typically expect. 

  • When adding the additional hardware to provide a “cover” for the keypad area of an ATM, it can actually have the opposite impact, providing a location for a small camera to be mounted underneath the surface where it can’t be detected, but it can capture the movement of the fingers on the keypad to identify the PIN. Not good! 
  • Use of the keypad can be challenging for those with larger hands and/or those with conditions such as arthritis. We want our ATMs to accommodate all users. 
  • With the addition of the cover it can be difficult to select the correct keys and cause errors throughout the transaction, one of the most common is the entry of an incorrect PIN and that isn’t validated until the end of the transaction. Frustrating!  

With our ATMs we have taken a more holistic approach with the security and have hardware and software that integrate with the card reader and the fascia of the ATM. Our ATMs have the ability to detect when a device or an attempt to add a device takes place which then creates a message sent to our operations and our Financial Crimes team, depending on the severity of the alert such as detection of a device, camera, attempt to drill the fascia etc the ATM is actually taken out of service until it can be inspected. Even I didn't know this, talk about security! 


All in all, we do recommend that cardholders cover their hand with the hand that isn’t entering the Pin when they use an ATM for an extra level of security, but don’t feel the addition of the “PIN pad cover” provides an improved or more secure member experience on top of the security we already have at our ATMs.


Thanks again for your awareness of security, sharing your idea and getting this discussion started. Cheers, KristinA



I agree that it's all too easy for the person at the ATM next to me can see me enter my personal code. I do think a high divider screen would be an easy remedy for this. I have mentioned this to my local Lake City branch, but so far, no divider.