With Credit and Debit Card Fraud Nearly Doubling Between 2012 and 2013, Financial Pros Are “Doubling Down” on Security.

Posted on April 20th, 2014 by Dan Rampe

Credit Card Fraud

The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) surveyed more than 5000 members. The result? As a reaction to ongoing and persistent credit and debit card fraud, most companies are increasing or seriously considering increasing security.

The “2014 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey” found that 63 percent of polled organizations have already added or planned to add new security measures including secure signature stamps, electronic stamps, and storing payment data with third-party vendors.

Quoted in a piece on associationsnow.com, AFP’s president and CEO, Jim Kaitz said, “Criminals will try to stay a step ahead. But with potential liability increasing for merchants, companies are taking a hard look at where their own vulnerabilities lie. This is especially important for big companies with complex systems, which are frequent targets for fraud.”

Last year, according to the study, 60 percent of organizations were exposed to fraud or attempted fraud. And according to Katie Bascuas’ piece on associationsnow.com, while checks were the most common form of payment fraud in 2013, fraudulent activity using credit and debit cards nearly doubled between 2012 and 2013.

Mallory Duncan, general counsel for the National Retail Federation, places much of the blame on technology. Duncan told Reuters, “The technology that exists in cards out there is 20th-century technology, and we’ve got 21st-century hackers.”

Whether banks, retailers or credit card companies would pay for the upgrades is still to be determined. One solution the Electronic Transactions Association is working on is chip-based Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) cards, which would help stop criminals from counterfeiting cards using stolen account numbers. However, it would do nothing to prevent cybercrooks from using stolen credit card numbers online.

The Retail Industry Association said it intended to launch the RILA Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Initiative to improve payment card security, establish a cybersecurity leaders’ council, and call for federal data-breach notification legislation.

RILA President Sandy Kennedy said, “By working together with public-private sector stakeholders, our ability to develop innovative solutions and anticipate threats will grow, enhancing our collective security and giving customers the service and peace of mind they deserve.”

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