Card Fraud Decreases, Banking Industry Reports

The South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) is pleased that the banking industry has seen an overall decrease in card fraud in 2015. In releasing its annual card fraud statistics, SABRIC has stated that credit card fraud has decreased by 28.6% from R353.3m in 2014 to R252.2m in 2015 with an increase of 8, 3 % for debit card fraud in the same period.

The banking industry attributes the overall decrease to the various mitigation measures implemented to fight the scourge of card fraud which have been effective. These measures include the continuous improvement of internal systems and processes as well as the roll out of chip and PIN technology for debit cards.   SABRIC CEO, Kalyani Pillay explained that the SABRIC model of sharing information between the banks, also contributed to the decrease; “SABRIC provides the industry with an industry view of crime trends and facilitates a collective approach to the combating of card fraud.”

Whilst card fraud is a national threat, the most affected provinces were Gauteng, Western Cape and Kwa- Zulu Natal. Increases noted for Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga are of concern and will be monitored closely.

The industry statistics indicate that Lost and/or Stolen card fraud accounted for 46, 2% of debit card fraud losses reporting during 2015. With the roll out of chip and PIN, criminals are reverting to card jamming and swopping at ATMs accompanied by shoulder surfing for PIN numbers.   Whilst credit card related Card Not Present (CNP) fraud increased by 12, 6% from the previous year, it now accounts for 75% of the losses relating to SA issued credit cards which is of concern.

SABRIC’s finding that counterfeit card fraud in respect of both credit and debit cards has decreased significantly is welcomed by the industry. Ms Pillay, however, cautions bank clients to continue to protect their cards during the festive season as the risk of card skimming, especially in the vicinity of ATMs, remains high. “Always cover the hand that is typing the PIN when using your bank card”, SABRIC CEO, Kalyani Pillay advised.

The banking industry encourages bank clients to use the following tips during the festive season:

  • Never accept assistance from strangers as they could be trying to distract you in order to get your card or PIN.
  • Keep your r PIN secret even from family members or Bank officials.
  • Should your card be retained in the ATM, block your card before you leave the site.
  • Register for 3D secure before using your bank card online.

Issued on behalf of the banking industry by SABRIC.

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