Visa fights for credit card security

Credit Card Security

Credit card security is a major concern for all consumers, and with credit card fraud costing Australians over 261 million dollars in 2012, it is a very valid concern. Visa is at the forefront of a push to bring this figure down, and is aiming to phase out signatures on credit card transactions at all checkouts by early 2014. The combination of Visa’s secure smart chips embedded in their cards, plus this new strategy of not allowing signatures, could help combat credit card fraud in Australia.

Switching from signature requirements to pin requirements means it will be harder for fraudsters to forge a signature, thus eliminating one of the ways that the criminals go about their business.

Reducing the need for signatures will also have other benefits, such as quicker and easier transactions when making purchases.

What are the most common credit card security issues?

Some of the main ways criminals undertake credit card fraud are:

Card skimming
By building skimming hardware that can be installed and disguised in ATM’s or as a legitimate eftpos facility, criminals can steal all the date relating to your credit card, including numbers, data, and pins.

Fraudulent applications
Criminals can also simply apply for a new credit card with your details. Also known as stealing your identity. This can be done in many ways, such as stealing old mail, emailing you and asking to ‘update’ your details, or even by hacking into your computer.

Criminals usually make money by purchasing items with the dodgy credit cards, and then on sell the items for cash.

MoneyBuddy tips to enhance your credit card security

  • Whenever possible, do not give your credit card to merchants to take away and pay the bill for you, such as giving your card to a waiter at a restaurant. Treat your credit card like cash, never take your eyes off it.
  • Lower your card limit, that way worst case scenario, if your credit card details do fall into the wrong hands, only a limited amount of funds can be used.
  • NEVER EVER reply to emails asking for your credit card details, or even to ‘update’ your details. Even if the email looks official, and the address looks legitimate. It is so easy for criminals to fake emails that look like they are from sites such as eBay or even bank websites. The truth is, sites like these will never send you emails like this. The easiest way to make sure you don’t fall into this trap is to delete any emails that ask for your credit card details ASAP.

What are the credit card providers doing?

Most credit card issuers, such as Visa and MasterCard have ‘Zero Liability’ protections offered to consumers. These protections usually cover all fraudulent activity so you won’t be out of pocket if something criminal were to happen to your details.

Banks also offer their own protections to their customers, in most cases you will be safe, but is always good to know what to keep an eye out for. You can use our comparison tool to compare credit cards and find out which one you think could work for you.

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