Interac debit card fraud skimming losses decline to record low

Source: Interac

Interac Association reported today that Interac debit card fraud losses as a result of skimming are at a record low - decreasing to $29.5 million in 2013 from a high of $142 million in 2009.

Only 25 per cent of losses in 2013, or $7.3 million , are the result of fraud exploitation within Canada . Total losses in 2013 represent 0.0093 per cent of domestic Interac debit card volume (0.93 basis points) and the lowest volume of recorded fraud losses. As a result of this significant decline in fraud exploitation, the number of cardholders reimbursed by financial institutions fell to 72,200 in 2013 from 238,000 in 2009. Cardholders are protected from losses under the Interac Zero Liability Policy*.

"The combination of sound policies, investments in technology - such as chip and fraud detection - and outstanding collaboration with financial institutions, acquirers, merchants and law enforcement makes the Interac system a world-class payment network," said Caroline Hubberstey , Head of External Affairs for Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation. "Debit products are about accessing people's money in their bank accounts and need to offer stronger protections. Debit is our expertise, and when we have control over the payments environment, our leadership in fraud prevention is evident."

Criminals are increasingly migrating their payment card fraud activity to international exploitation in non-chip environments and card-not-present (i.e., over the Internet and telephone) exploitation on credit cards and other networks' debit products. Unlike these products, Interac rules offer account holders the added protections of not allowing card-not-present, offline and signature transactions. For example, for Interac transactions, the number on the front of the bank card is an identifier only, not an account number, and cannot be used to conduct card-not-present transactions. Instead, Interac ecommerce transactions are conducted through Interac Online, which leverages the security of web banking. No personal financial information is ever provided to merchants. These rules also protect cardholders from fraud resulting from payment card data security breaches, such as as those recently reported in the media.

"The statistics clearly show that we are having solid success locking down the Canadian payments space to stop criminals committing Interac debit card fraud," emphasized Hubberstey. "We're delivering a strong message - the Interac system is not a place for criminals to do business."

Chip technology is another key part of the Interac fraud prevention strategy. This smart technology also enables advancements like Interac Flash®, which is currently being rolled out across the country.

While not all contactless technologies are created equally, the Interac Flash solution is secure because it leverages secure chip processing, not magnetic stripe data type processing. This, along with the policies outlined above, protects Interac Flash against counterfeiting and transaction replay types of fraud, including electronic pick-pocketing.

"As an enhancement of Interac Debit, Interac Flash has all the security benefits plus added features to protect cardholders," said Hubberstey. "With Interac Debit and Interac Flash, consumers are using one of the safest ways to pay with a payment card."

At the end of January 2014 , 95 per cent of point-of-sale (POS) terminals had been converted to chip technology. Over 95 per cent of Interac transactions at POS terminals are chip-on-chip transactions. All POS terminals are to be converted by the end of 2015.

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