Mastercard releases Early Detection System to warn banks of at-risk cards

Mastercard releases Early Detection System to warn banks of at-risk cards

With card breaches at retailers becoming an everyday occurrence, MasterCard is arming banks with a tool that helps predict which customer accounts are most at risk of fraudulent activity following a third party compromise.

The launch of Mastercard's Early Detection System comes as banks face up to the crippling costs of an endemic cyber-crime spree hitting the payment cards business. Just last week Whole Foods and Sonic warned that their systems had been breached and consumer card details lifted. This followed the news of a massive breach at Equifax which exposed the details of 143 million accounts.

Mastercard estimates that it can take as little as nine minutes for stolen data posted to the dark web to be used, and that speed is of the essence for banks wishing to protect customer accounts.

Knowing that not all compromised accounts will be used fraudulently, Early Detection System uses network insights, predictive capabilities and a combination of internal and external data sources, to determine if a card or account is at risk and sends an alert to the issuer with a quantification of the level of risk. Mastercard says the system provides issuers with alerts on a much broader set of at-risk accounts, potentially six to 18 months ahead of traditional warnings.

“Knowledge is power, and this service helps issuers act significantly faster and with greater precision to stop potential fraud before it occurs,” says Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at Mastercard. “Our issuers can now proactively target the fraudulent activity resulting from previously breached or hacked data, helping them reduce costs and maintain the best possible cardholder experience.”

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