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Fraud migrates away as European EMV rollout nears completion

The European ATM Security Team (EAST) has just published a chart showing the impact on ATM related skimming losses of the rollout of EMV (chip and PIN) at European ATMs. There appears to have been a great deal of discussion about the merits of EMV in the United States recently, as the impact of card skimming is increasingly felt.  Here in Europe nearly 100% of ATMs are EMV compliant and it seems that EMV is working as ATM related skimming losses have fallen significantly from a high point in 2007.

That being said even when all ATMs are fully EMV compliant in EU-SEPA countries, fraudulent withdrawals using skimmed or counterfeit cards can still take place within national borders because of the usage of ’mag stripe only’ cards from non EMV card issuers, or because EMV card issuers authorize ‘mag stripe fall back’ transactions.  EAST refers to these as domestic losses.

From a European perspective it is encouraging to see the fall in international losses - these occur when EU payment cards are used to make cash withdrawals outside national borders in countries where all or some of the ATMs are not yet EMV compliant. As long as 'mag stripes' are present on EMV cards, however, the cards are vulnerable to skimming, something that I have talked about in earlier posts.

In addition to the impact of the EMV roll out, EAST also attributes this fall in international losses to the effectiveness of anti-skimming devices, where they have been deployed, to improvements in the detection and monitoring of fraudulent transactions, and to regional card blocking for 'card present' transactions.

Many EU countries are now reporting that losses in the United States are making up the largest percentage of international losses, where there are no known plans to migrate to EMV. This is in line with the latest Organised Crime Threat Assessment published by Europol which states that around 80 percent of non-EU fraud against EU payment cards is committed in the United States.


Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 27 June, 2011, 09:59Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If you want to prevent personal loss by eliminating the possibility to copy your card's magstripe, just wipe it a couple times with a refrigerator magnet, and voila - you have a chip-only card  :D

Should you encounter a situation where the chip is not accepted, the clerk needs to plug in your card number manually - this leaves a trace in the card system, and different card validation rules apply.

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