We’re Number One…with Cybercriminals

Posted June 5, 2015

Barclays Study: American Credit Cards Represent 24 Percent of the Cards in Use and Receive 47 Percent of the World’s Fraud Attacks

Sounds like the tagline “what’s in your wallet” perhaps should be changed to “who’s in your wallet.” That’s the takeaway from a new report from Barclays, the UK-based international megabank.

In her article on consumerist.com, Kate Cox attributes American credit and debit cards being priority targets for cybercriminals to the nation’s delay in adopting EMV chip cards. The following has been excerpted from her piece and edited to fit our format. You may find her complete article by clicking on this link.

You can tell a security risk by its stripe

The main culprit [for U.S. cards’ vulnerability] is… magnetic stripe technology…the dominant way payment cards are accepted…. Simply put, we are low-hanging fruit. Intruding into a system like Target or Home Depot and making off with usable data for tens of millions of payment cards is easy as pie, at least as compared to other nations.

Not a panacea, but it does cut down on fraud at the register

And that is, of course, because other nations have long since switched to more secure, EMV (chip-using) credit and debit cards. The EMV system doesn’t completely eliminate the potential for card fraud, but it does make it much harder to do.

70 percent in UK payment card fraud

Worldwide, Barclays reports, chip-card adoption sits at about 43% — but that doesn’t include the U.S. In Western Europe, most nations have long since gone through the conversion process and the adoption rate sits at almost 82%. Since starting the transition to chip-and-PIN cards in 2003, the UK has seen an over 70% reduction in payment card fraud.

Adoption is slow going in the U.S.

Here in the States we are finally on our way to joining the rest of the world, but it’s a slow process happening one bank and one retailer at a time, rather than something with a firm, government-imposed deadline. MasterCard and Visa will require merchants to upgrade to having chip-enabled payment systems by October of this year, but many banks are unlikely to make it before another two years into the future.



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