February 27, 2018 By Shane Schick 2 min read

Credit card fraud protection has been a challenge in the financial services industry for years. But according recent research, increased adoption of chip-and-PIN technology is already keeping more transactions safe from fraudsters.

The “Visa Chip Card Update” revealed a 70 percent drop in counterfeit dollars over a two-year period among U.S. merchants who have completed the chip upgrade. Sometimes referred to as Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) technology, the chip-and-PIN design was first suggested about seven years ago as a way to improve credit card fraud protection.

Security Gaps Remain Despite Increased EMV Adoption

While the statistics from Visa are encouraging, they don’t mean that threats to financial systems and consumers have gone away. Forter’s “Fraud Attack Index” found that account takeover attacks against online payment accounts increased by 131 percent between 2015 and 2016.

But even if EMV adoption boosts credit card fraud protection, 85 percent of merchants are still concerned about card-not-present (CNP) attacks, according to Vesta’s “2017 Financial Impact of Fraud Study.”

The FBI has issued public advisories suggesting that moving to EMV alone will not keep consumers safe. Besides the potential for counterfeit chip-and-PIN cards, it is often far too easy for cybercriminals to find payment details stored in the profiles of e-commerce sites, Bleeping Computer noted. If malicious software can get into the back end of various online shopping services and steal that kind of information, credit card fraud protection becomes far more difficult.

Shoring Up Credit Card Fraud Protection

Gizmodo suggested that merchants who haven’t moved to EMV will likely do so based on Visa’s data. Additionally, the rules established three years ago may hold these organizations responsible for credit card fraud protection if the technology is not in place.

Following major data breaches at well-known retailers, there might be an understandable wariness among customers to hand over their card data in stores where only a magnetic stripe reader is still in use. Online theft may continue to loom in the shadows, but this is an area where organizations can make a significant IT security improvement today.

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