Card payment fraud falls for the first time

  • By AB+F Editorial

Data revealed by the Australian Payments Network has shown a decline in the rate of fraud for the first time since reporting of card fraud commenced in 2006.

Figures released on Tuesday by the payments self-regulatory body show that the rate of card fraud for the 12 months to 31 December was 72.8 cents per $1,000 of card spending, down from 75.0c per$1,000 in the previous period.

The data also show a decline in the growth of card-not-present (CNP) fraud, which occurs when stolen card details are used to make online or phone transactions. 

The increase in CNP fraud in 2018 was 2.4 per cent, compared to 13.9 per cent the previous year. At $488 million, CNP fraud accounted for 84.9 per cent of all card fraud in 2018, steady on the previous period.

Growth of 2.3 per cent in all types of card fraud during the year, to $574 million, was significantly outstripped by 5.4 per cent growth in card spending overall, to $789 billion.

The improved card fraud figures come as online retailers and payments service providers adjust to a new framework for reducing CNP fraud that took effect on 1 July.

Developed after close consultation with financial institutions, retailers, card schemes and other e-commerce participants, the CNP Fraud Mitigation Framework includes targets for card issuers to reduce CNP fraud and increased use of multi-factor authentication in verifying online transactions, according to a statement from AusPayNet. 

AusPayNet CEO, Andy White, said the latest fraud data were encouraging, showing both a decline in the fraud rate generally and a leveling-off in CNP fraud specifically.

“Reducing the space for CNP fraudsters to operate is an industry priority and the new framework is a major step in further stimulating the uptake of CNP fraud counter-measures across the e-commerce community.

“People buying goods online may have noticed enhanced steps to have their details verified and they should take confidence from that,” White said.

The AusPayNet data show a continued decline in card skimming/counterfeit fraud, down by 37 per cent to $19.5 million, the lowest-ever level recorded.

“Chip technology has radically reduced counterfeit fraud,” White said.