Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) today announced that it has completed technical development of a new service aimed at detecting and preventing fraud schemes that target the use of prepaid cards.
Visa's Prepaid Clearinghouse Service (PCS) is a centralized database that allows financial institutions, processors and prepaid program managers to share prepaid card data such as enrollments, load funding, suspected fraudulent information and previously reported fraud on existing card accounts. PCS will provide critical information sharing to better identify and stop fraudulent enrollments, funding, use and other fraud schemes involving prepaid cards.
"Visa's Prepaid Clearinghouse Service will deliver a comprehensive compilation of prepaid account-level data from across the industry, which will help reduce prepaid fraud losses for consumers, financial institutions and their clients," said Brian Triplett, SVP, head of North America prepaid products. "Criminals are increasingly targeting prepaid products which more and more consumers are using for every day purchases. While existing laws and industry safeguards help limit most consumer losses, PCS is a huge step forward for the industry towards proactively preventing fraud schemes targeting prepaid cards."
Value assessments now begin with financial institutions and their program managers providing PCS with information such as enrollments, load funding, provisional credit requests, and fraudulent activity to check the database for risky activity. This analysis will allow for unique optimization as assessments are completed. Subscribing participants will then receive real-time alerts to be used in their fraud review decision process.
By participating in Prepaid Clearinghouse Service, participants will have access to a holistic view of prepaid fraud across the industry, enabling them to detect and protect their customers and their portfolios from fraud efficiently and effectively. Reporting information into PCS will be required for all U.S. Visa-issuing financial institutions and program managers, yet PCS is capable of supporting multiple network-branded prepaid cards. All U.S. Visa prepaid issuing financial institutions and their program managers will be required to report into PCS by June 2015.
"Fraud is a constant threat for prepaid program managers, so being forewarned of what attacks are happening across the industry can help them prepare their defenses," said Ben Jackson, Sr. Analyst of Mercator Advisory Group's Prepaid Advisory Service.
The Prepaid Clearinghouse Service is modeled after Visa's Issuers' Clearinghouse Service (ICS), which was created to help reduce bankcard credit and fraud losses. All Visa-issuing members submit information on both fraudulent applications and consumer credit card applications for use during the application and underwriting process. Even today, issuers using ICS continue to show an average incremental lift of more than $30:1.