CNP and counterfeit card fraud on the rise in Australia

CNP and counterfeit card fraud on the rise in Australia

Annual fraud figures from the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) show a continuing increase in levels of card-not-present fraud and counterfeit/card skimming scams.

The total rate of fraud for cheques, debit cards, credit and charge cards for the year to 30 June 2008 rose only marginally from 5.9 cents to 7.2 cents for every $1000 of payments.

But, while cheque fraud declined significantly, payment card fraud rose to 31 cents in every $1000.

APCA says this is still some way off the global equivalent of 47 cents in every $1000.

Card-not-present (CNP) is the most common type of payment card fraud accounting for 48% of the fraud value on Australian issued credit and charge cards.

After CNP fraud, counterfeit/skimming represents 32% of the total value of fraud on credit and charge cards and 40% of the total value of debit card fraud.

APCA's chief executive officer Chris Hamilton, comments: "Unfortunately, we are now starting to see a long anticipated migration of counterfeit and skimming fraud to Australia from offshore."

The Australian banking industry is committed to a move from mag-stripe to chip-embedded payments cards and the major banks have begun to issue smart cards to customers.

However, a mass market migration to the new technology across all cards and payment terminals remains a long-term goal. Visa last week outlined plans to accelerate Australia's migration to chip and PIN card technology as part of a five year programme to improve payment system security in the country.

APCA's Hamilton points out that of the 3.8 billion plus transactions made on Australian issued cards in the 12 months to 30 June 2008, about 400,000 were fraudulent - or just over 1 in every 10,000 transactions.

"It's important to remember that consumers are not held liable if fraudulent transactions are made with their cards or account information," he adds.

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