Recent industry news has brought to light the worrying issue of fraud relating to contactless cards. Contactless cards are increasingly popular in the UK, with the value of contactless purchases increasing by 232% in the past year to reach almost £1.9 billion in total.
Although this take-up in the UK is significant – industry bodies say that there were approximately 152,727 cases of fraud involving lost or stolen contactless debit and credit cards reported in 2015* and the total number of cards cancelled is likely to be many more.
Contis Group, a leader in innovative banking and payments solutions, took a prepaid and debit focus on their launch of contactless technology and made a simple decision – our accounts cannot go overdrawn, so the answer was to develop a real-time contactless solution where all contactless transactions would require immediate authorisation.
Contis’ technical challenge and unique approach was to develop with Visa a solution that allowed a seamless transaction for the cardholder, but to also give payment security to the overall process. So in the event of a card being reported lost or stolen, or there not being funds to cover the transaction – the card would be declined.
Most other high street bank contactless cards operate a different system, which subsequently could produce a potential offline authorisation delay with most of their contactless cards – leaving the potential opportunity for fraud and misuse.
There are now thousands of Contis’ contactless cards in operation today, of which we can state that this real-time authorisation solution works, as fraud on lost and stolen card account abuse is negligible.
To quell security fears, Contis Group also introduced the ability for customers to switch their cards on and off at will. So if a card was mislaid, it is easy to switch it off, and when found, as most cards are, switched on again instantly. This function can be easily controlled via their mobile app, over an IVR/telephone system or through their online account.
The card lock/un-lock feature, combined with online contactless, has really excited our cardholder and given both them and our partner brands a feeling of security and control.
* Contactless card fraud warning: Crooks can use them months after cancellation – Faye Lipson. Money Savings Expert 6th September 2016