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Australia's EMV roll out bites into card fraud

Payment card fraud statistics are not published by every country, which is one reason why the UK’s statistics are so often reported and quoted, and are used as evidence of the impact of the introduction of Chip and PIN EMV cards on fraud.  Another country that publishes payment fraud statistics is Australia.  It is going through a roll-out of EMV technology that the UK completed a few years ago. So what can Australia's latest fraud statistics tell us about the impact of EMV on payments card fraud?

The data shows that skimming fraud on Australian-issued credit cards has dropped for the first time ever - from $50.1m to $37.5m, a 25% fall.  As the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) press release says, “This suggests that Australia’s progressive roll-out of chip technology is starting to bite against skimming fraud, which should continue to drop as the use of chip becomes more  widespread.” Card Not Present Fraud however has continued to rise, just like it did in the UK when EMV was introduced.

An interesting change not covered by the press release was the fall of almost 50% in Counterfeit/Skimming Fraud on cards issued overseas. This could again be due to EMV roll-out, making Australia a tougher target for using counterfeit cards produced using cloned magnetic stripe data. This is good news for Australian merchants, but not yet a cause for celebration for EMV card holders from around the world, whose magnetic stripe data can still be used on cloned cards in countries yet to adopt EMV, like the United States.

While the US and other countries continue to use magnetic stripe cards, consumers need to continue to be wary that their payment cards are not skimmed, and merchants and acquirers need to deploy end-to-end encryption or other approaches to ensure data used in a transaction cannot be used to produce a cloned magnetic stripe card.


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