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European card fraud losses fall

17 July 2013  |  9093 views  |  0 Security

ATM and POS-based card fraud are on the retreat in Europe, thanks in large part to technological advances such as EMV, but online losses remain stubbornly high, according to figures from the ECB.

In 201l card fraud across the Single euro payments area (Sepa) was EUR1.16 billion, down 5.8% on the previous year. Between 2007 and 2011 fraud fell 7.6%, despite the value of all transactions growing by more than 10%.

The fall has been down to a slowdown in growth of ATM fraud, as well as a 24% drop in fraud carried out at POS terminals, which the ECB attributes largely to the rollout of EMV.

However, gains made within the Sepa area have been partially offset by fraud carried out in countries which have yet to roll out EMV. In 2011, 78% of total fraud with counterfeited cards was carried out in non-Sepa countries, up from 61% in 2010. At ATMs, counterfeited card fraud outside of the Sepa zone saw a rise from 67% of total transactions in 2010 to 95% in 2011.

The fight against card not present (CNP) fraud has proven tougher, although after years of rising losses, the situation stabilised in 2011. CNP now accounts for 56% of all card fraud, or EUR655 million.

The ECB says that CNP, and particularly online, fraud can be tackled, citing the success of the 3-D Secure system in the UK and the recommendations published in January by the European Forum for the Security of Retail Payments calling for stronger authentication rules.

Cards issued in Luxembourg, France and the UK on average experienced the highest fraud losses as a proportion of regular transactions. Transactions carried out in Ireland were the most likely to be fraudulent: over one in every 1000 transactions, compared with the euro area average of about one in every 4000.

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