Our good friends at ACI Worldwide have just released their annual Global Card Fraud Survey, which contains some rather bad news: the UK has more card fraud than many other countries. We’re up there with the US, with three times as many people affected than in Germany and the Netherlands. So a third of us have been victims of card fraud compared to only a tenth in Netherlands. Why? Are the Dutch more honest than Brits? Are their cards more sophisticated? No. I think there are two main reasons for this discrepancy.
First of all, while chip and PIN has cut fraud on the high street, card-not-present fraud is still a big problem. In the UK, cards still account for a big portion of online payments. In the Netherlands, and some other countries, they don’t. More than two-thirds of Dutch e-commerce purchases are made with iDeal, a bank-based scheme that has no equivalent in the UK (or the US, or pretty much anywhere else for that matter).
Second, UK credit cards have high limits. In the last couple of weeks, both of my main card issuers have written to me raising credit limits (I didn’t ask for this in either case). If you’re going to steal some card details, you’d go for cards that are likely to be some way from their limit.
The survey wasn’t all bad news, by any means. I found it interesting that the proportion of people who had been victims of card fraud but were satisfied with the response of their issuer had actually increased slightly, to almost four-fifths, which isn’t bad. Personally, like the majority of people surveyed, the last time there was a strange charge on my card, the bank took off the charge then cancelled and reissued the card.
The agent informed me that new cards for me and my wife would be Fed-Ex’d, to arrive today or tomorrow. What followed were a series of texts from merchants that have my credit card on file for automatic billing, delighting me with the knowledge that I won’t be able to use such services as the Bay’s FasTrak toll lanes or uninterrupted cable service until I update my records.[From I’m a five-time ID Fraud victim; How crazy is that? – Javelin Strategy & Research Blog]
Think how expensive this all this though: cancelling and re-issuing cards, call centre seats, letters and whatever else. So we still need to do better. Only around a third of people (fewer than before) said that they would switch financial institutions because of card fraud, which is bad news for people trying to sell anti-card fraud solutions to high street banks.
The poll of 970 UK adults, part of the bi-annual global Unisys Security Index, reveals that cyber-security is the public’s chief concern, with 85% of respondents worried, and over 50% “seriously concerned”, about bank card fraud and identity theft.[From Finextra: Brits switching banks over security and privacy concerns – Unisys]
This is odd, I think. I couldn’t care less about bank card fraud, since it’s the banks’ problem and not mine. I never use a debit card for anything, offline or online, so I’m totally protected by the legislation around credit cards. I’m more worried about identity theft, because it’s more time consuming to put right, but that’s a different issue (being discussed at the CSFI yesterday, as it happens).
The press release also noted that 81% of people have confidence in their issuer protecting them from fraud. I think that this may be a little simplistic, for that very reason: had I been asked for the survey, I would have said that I don’t really care about Barclays’ ability to prevent fraud on my splendid OnePulse credit card because it’s their problem.