US ATM fraud surges despite EMV

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Improved technologies in the banking sector have failed to stem the rising tide of fraud in the US, according to a study by analytic software firm FICO.

The US's belated move to EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip-equipped cards hasn't curtailed fraud as much as many had hoped, based on the successful rollout of the technology years ago across Europe.

The number of payment cards compromised at US ATMs and merchants rose 70 per cent last year. Compromises of ATMs and merchant devices in the US rose 30 percent, following a six-fold (546 per cent) increase from 2014 to 2015.

These figures cover only card fraud occurring at physical devices, not online card fraud.

It's a generally bleak picture, with the one bright spot being that vendors are detecting compromised devices more quickly. The average duration of a compromise is steadily decreasing – an ATM or POS device would be compromised on average for 11 days in 2016, compared to 14 days in 2015. The 2016 average duration is less than a third of the average duration two years ago in 2014, which was 36 days.

"As the last few years have proven, skimming technology and knowhow have improved and are more accessible to the general population, so we will continue to see increases in compromises and the speed at which they occur," said TJ Horan, vice president of fraud solutions at FICO.

FICO works with banks and card issuers around the world to identify fraud trends and curtail card fraud. FICO's Card Alert Service monitors hundreds of thousands of ATMs and other readers in the US.

More details on trends in ATM and point of sale fraud – together with top tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud – can be found in a blog post by FICO here. ®

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