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Credit card fraud statistics for SA remain a concern

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Payment security
Payment security hits a new high as fraud levels ease.

Card fraud statistics show a significant reduction in fraud likely due to the introduction of richer technology and payment solutions.

Credit card fraud statistics for South Africa in the banking sector remain a cause for concern according to figures released by the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC).

Credit card fraud losses in 2014 increased by 23% and false application fraud rose from R6.2m in 2013 to R78.3m in 2014. Fraud continues to present a threat to the banking sector, the business and the consumer.

However, it is not all bad news. In an interview with Fin24, Mastercard revealed that the fraud levels around their bank cards had hit a record low based on the company’s Gross Dollar Volume (GDV) data. Mastercard believes that Chip and PIN or EMV technology have been key to this shift as these payment systems have been devised specifically to provide consumers and institutions with additional layers of protection.

“The decline in fraud levels is also being impacted by the implementation of 3D Secure authentication processes as these have raised the barrier to entry for fraudsters,” says Johan Dekker, COO at PayU. “The high numbers around fraud have also played a significant role in the sector’s shift to more robust payment solutions. At PayU, we are seeing an uptake in fraud management solutions as more and more merchants come to the realisation that 3D Secure is not a silver bullet and there is still a need for a comprehensive fraud management strategy.”

This strategy needs to incorporate rich technology and capability alongside ease of use and functionality. From the start of a transaction to the completion of payment, every element must be part of a process that can identify potential fraudulent behaviour and protect against it. Online payment solutions must be up to date, aware of shifts in technique and technology and comprehensive enough to cope with the demands of the business.

Mastercard’s announcement is a beacon of light in a sea of fraud statistics and is, according to Dekker, a trend that will likely continue from a card perspective. It will also potentially ignite further efforts to move to areas that remain vulnerable and to focus on implementing solutions that are capable of handling the challenges they represent.

“The sector has not sat idly by and continues to invest in fraud management solutions designed to protect both themselves and their clients and consumers,” concludes Dekker. “This downward trend is as a result of significant investment into reliable and secure payment solutions and will remain on track if organisations continue to implement comprehensive payment security strategies going forward.”

PayU has the most payment solutions on offer in South Africa, offering 25 different products that are designed to support the business and the banking sectors. These include the recently released EFT Pro payment product that allows customers to pay through electronic fund transfers that are instantaneous and secure. It has been designed to reduce admin and fraud risk while being easy to use and convenient. The company also offers the PayU Call2Assist product that lets the call centre agent support the customer throughout the payment process without them seeing sensitive card data or hearing the DTMF tones. Dial tones have historically been an achilles heel for centre payment collection.  .

“Combatting fraud is at the top of our agenda and has seen us forge alliances with organisations such as ReD Shield, the leading fraud management company in the world,” says Dekker. “It has also played a role in our developing so many different platforms and payment types.”

Staff Writer

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