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Card Fraud: Bursting the balloon

Card fraud across the UK and Europe is on the increase. A recent CIFAS report suggests that in the UK alone, card fraud increased by over 26% in 2012. Pair this with other research which claims that there has been a 6% increase in fraudulent activity across the whole of Europe and a worrying trend emerges. The numbers demonstrate that banks need to hit the brakes on card fraud before it spins out of control.

The modus operandi of a successful criminal organisation typically works in a cyclical pattern. Gangs move between illegal activities as authorities crack down on certain types of crime. As the famous balloon analogy goes, squeeze one area of fraud and it will bulge somewhere else.

It’s clear that card fraud is currently ‘bulging’ and it’s time for banks to break the cycle. Traditionally it’s been the customer experience that suffers as a result of clamping down on card fraud. This should no longer be the case. The technology to analyse payment transactions for fraud at the point of sale is readily available. Quick and efficient real-time analysis of card transactions can greatly reduce criminal activity, whilst keeping customers happy. The relationship doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.

With mammoth cases of fraud having hit the headlines, there’s a tendency for smaller fraudulent transactions to fall down the priority list. However, card fraud needs much more focus. With victims losing £4,000 on average in some scams, this type of criminal activity is proving to be a huge drain on resources. Ultimately it is the banks that have to cover the costs; therefore responsibility to provide the right safeguards lies with them. Technology coupled with analytical insight of fraud patterns across the financial sector can and should be the pin that bursts the balloon and halts the card fraud cycle. 



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