News & Resources

Plastic card security in need of boost

Nov 10, 2012 Dave King

Many believe that the world will one day be a cashless society, as paper and coin money continue to take a decreasing percentage of the overall market share. Mobile payments, ACH cards, wire transfers and plastic card transactions are leading the way, with prepaid cards also beginning to penetrate new markets and replace cash. This can be a strong and efficient change of pace for several reasons, though security is imperative to ensure the electronic payments industry continues growing well into the future. Currently, many consumers and business owners still have concerns about accessing their personal and banking information through new devices and platforms. Crime continues to rise
ACI Worldwide and the Aite Group recently released the results of an international study that examined 5,200 consumers' habits in nearly 20 countries regarding plastic card fraud. According to the report, 42 percent of respondents in the United States said they had experienced fraudulent activities with their prepaid, debit or credit cards. This was the second highest rate, as 44 percent of respondents from Mexico cited issues with fraud. The study's authors further noted that the potential losses from fraud can be extremely detrimental to businesses, as more than one-fifth of respondents who experienced plastic card fraud left their provider. "The results of this survey show that card fraud continues to be one of the greatest threats and concerns for consumers, financial institutions and retailers," Mike Braatz of ACI Worldwide said in a statement. "While there have been significant advances in fraud prevention technology, it is clear that more needs to be done to educate consumers about fraud and engage them as allies when it occurs. These results should serve as a call to action for financial institutions and retailers to remain constantly vigilant and earn the trust of customers by working with them to combat fraud." Ensuring compliance, security
Financial institutions and businesses should be ensuring their transaction processing practices and software meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), though this is only a good first step. As hackers and identity thieves continue to expand their abilities to breach security systems, businesses must also step up efforts to deter crime. Most experts suggest using a strong security software suite in tandem with exhaustive oversight of accounts payable and receivable. This will help suss out problems at the earliest stages and thus avoid incurring massive losses.