How Secure Is Card Data Online?

In this fast-paced digital world, commodities, consumables, and services can be bought and sold online in the click of a button. Whether you’re looking for a new car, a holiday, your weekly groceries, a loan, or insurance, the Internet has provided us with a wealth of choice and all the time in the world to find what we need.

Card Security OnlineConsumer confidence can drive a market and can encourage or discourage customers to transact business with a provider. In today’s very mobile and increasingly online business environment, the provider’s ability to transact business securely is a major consideration that consumers evaluate prior to closing a sale, whether it be for services or consumer goods.

Indeed, credit card fraud is a global problem that has impacted businesses and individuals in the UK. A consumer who does not have complete confidence in the provider’s payment processing security should not and usually will not complete the transaction via the Internet or over the telephone.

In this competitive mobile economy, every consumer and every business can benefit from protecting payment processing data. Credit card companies now provide many security recommendations to their users. For the most part, credit card holders are listening.

Important Data From The UK Cards Association

The UK Card Association published some revealing data through 2012. This information was selected from the Financial Fraud Action UK division. The data in this report is very useful for consumers and businesses that complete transactions through online security or telephone communications.

  • Total credit card fraud for UK issued credit and debit cards in 2007 amounted to £535.2 million.
  • Total credit card fraud for UK issued credit and debit cards in 2012 amounted to £388.8 million.
  • In 2008, credit card fraud in the UK reached its highest known level, £609.9 million.

The improvement is accredited to several factors:

  1. More sophisticated online security software.
  2. More informed consumers and improved consumer discipline and credit card management.
  3. Improved security by credit and debit card issuers.
  4. Better processing technology.

However, despite these factors, credit card abuse and credit card fraud is subject to high degrees of risk for the uninformed or careless credit cardholder, and if businesses don’t follow the guidelines, they can expose their clients to potential fraud. The consequences of credit card fraud can result in unfair damage to the consumer including the impacting of their credit rating.

Industry experts expect credit card issuers to increase security and to continue to flood users with more awareness information. Given that most trade requires credit card transactions, businesses must pay attention to constantly deploying the latest software and security protocols to ensure a safe and fluid transaction in a highly protected environment.

The following data was published by Financial Fraud Action:

– In 2007, telephone, mail-order and e-mail card not present fraud reached the £290.5 million.
– In 2008, telephone, mail-order and e-mail card not present fraud reached the all-time high amount of £378.5 million.
– By the 2012, some progress in this area had been made and this type card not present fraud had decreased to £245.8 million. However, this amount represented an 11 percent increase over 2011 data.

Card not present fraud represents the single most dominant type of fraud in the credit card, debit card fraud area of crime. Other segments include;

  • Counterfeit cards
  • Card ID theft
  • Fraud on lost or stolen credit, debit cards
  • Mail non-receipt fraud
  • UK cash machine fraud
  • UK face to face transaction fraud

These statistics present serious challenges for businesses hoping to transact business via telecommunication or by fixed or mobile devices. Businesses have access to existing software that has tremendous security capabilities and protection for online pc or mobile transactions.

Businesses that are transacting international, regional, national and local business must not only implement these security mechanisms but must also be well versed in communicating the advantages of their system. Businesses should refrain from providing false or misleading information about their security to clients.

There are a number of firms in the UK that specialise in the provision of secure transaction processing systems. In good conscience, every UK business should do its part to eliminate credit card fraud.

UK Credit Card User Policies

Online Fraud PreventionThere are no winners when credit card fraud takes place. All connected parties lose something and businesses stand to lose more than any other party. Once a company’s credit card security is breached, word travels fast and customers will no longer transact business with the provider. Word travels fast through social media.

Eleven Don’ts For Card Holders:

This is a list of recommendations issued to credit and debit card holders by providers:

  1. Do not lend your credit card(s) to anyone.
  2. Do not leave cards or receipts lying around.
  3. Do not sign a blank receipt. When you sign a receipt, draw a line through any blank – spaces above the total.
  4. Do not write your account number on postcards or outside an envelope.
  5. Do not give out your account number over the phone unless you initiated the call or you’re talking to a reputable company.
  6. Do not use ID numbers on payrolls or other documents.
  7. Do not write your credit card account numbers on the outside of envelops or on your checks.
  8. Do not write down your PIN or passwords. Memorise them.
  9. Do not disclose your PIN to anyone. No one from a financial institution, the police, or a merchant should ask for your PIN.
  10. Do not use the same PIN and passwords once you canceled/closed your accounts and want to open new ones.
  11. Do not put checks in your home mailbox. Mail theft is very common and your information can be easily compromised.

Businesses must be aware of these recommendations and must develop solutions for each of these situations. Enterprises that transact business via mobile devices or through desktop pc’s and a website must take extra precautions to ensure customer security. This can involve changing the protocol, adding security questions and improving encryption technology.

Consumers are encouraged to shop at sites that feature the security icon with the locked padlock or unbroken key symbol.

These are situations where consumers are advised to refuse to issue credit card information:

  • When a telemarketer calls.
  • When an unsolicited e-mail requests credit card information. These solicitations can be make seemingly sensational offers and be very misleading.
  • When an ‘urgent’ text message demands credit card verification.
  • When the website is not secured.
  • When an unverified charity request credit card contributions.

In this increasingly digital world, it is more important than ever to ensure security. Data is valuable, and this doesn’t just relate to credit card details and bank information. Personal data must be kept safe and secure at all times. Buying and selling on the web is a wonderful thing, and the authorities have worked hard to ensure that this isn’t spoilt by the relatively small number of people willing to exploit weaknesses.

Related Articles:

How To Detect Fraudulent Insurance Claims (Zurich Municipal) []

About Credit Card Fraud (Wikipedia) []

Secure Online Insurance Broker Software (Instanda) []