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Online retail drives card fraud in Oz

Reach for the cheque-book

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OK, so nobody uses cheques any more: as a result, fraud based on the venerable paper slip with a signature is now well-and-truly eclipsed by online credit card fraud, according to the Australian Payments Clearing Association.

The APCA has released its latest survey of payment fraud, in which it reports that “card not present” (CNP - online, via phone or mail) fraud is the dominant rip-off, now representing 96 cents in every $AU1,000 worth of transactions, compared to just 0.7 cents per $AU1,000 for cheque fraud.

CNP fraud now represents 71 percent of total fraud committed against Australian-issued cards, and – in a challenge for law enforcement – more than half of that fraud is committed offshore, the association says.

Australia seems to be getting better at tackling card skimming, however, with point-of-sale (POS) and ATM fraud falling by nearly 38 percent, from 7.9 cents per $AU1,000 of transactions to 4.9 cents. Debit card fraud in the same category fell by nearly half, from 2.5 cents to 1.3 cents per $AU1,000, reflecting the growing popularity of chip cards in Australia.

The APCA report states that the total value of fraudulent card-not-present transactions passed $AU278 million in Australia by December 2011, a rise of more than 51 percent.

Fraudulent transactions remain, however, a relatively small proportion of the total of total business. The million-plus fraudulent CNP transactions recorded by the APCA represented just 0.0517 percent of total transactions in 2011. ®

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