The Canadian PressBUSINESS
Fears of fraud have prompted WestJet to stop letting its passengers use credit cards at self-serve check-in kiosks at airports across the country, the Calgary-based airline announced yesterday.

The move comes amid reports that financial institutions are investigating isolated fraud incidents stemming from the use of credit cards to obtain boarding passes from kiosks at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. The move takes effect immediately.

The decision was a "proactive measure," said Richard Bartrem, WestJet's vice-president of culture and communication, who cautioned against pinning the blame solely on the kiosks until after the investigation is complete.

"Until they've made a determination as to whether or not there's an issue, it's a relatively simple fix for us to temporarily disable the credit-card functionality within the kiosk," Bartrem said.

Bartrem said the airline was advised a little more than a week ago by Visa and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority -- which manages Pearson -- of an investigation into the potential fraudulent use of credit card information gleaned from the kiosks.

"We decided that given that we're not sure if this is in fact real or not, we took the precautionary measure of disabling just the credit-card portion of the functionality of the kiosks across our network in Canada," Bartrem said.

Passengers will still be able to use other forms of identification to use the kiosks, he added. Visa Canada said in a statement yesterday that the company is working with airport officials and airlines to investigate the situation.

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