Media Releases

  • Payments Fraud

    Detection and prevention measures employed by the industry are showing promising results in putting downward pressure on fraud.

     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 17 June 2014 

    New payments fraud report 

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, today released a new report to help inform businesses on Australian payments fraud trends and effective measures and practices to help combat fraud. It coincides with the release of new payments fraud figures for 2013.

    The report “Australia Payments Fraud – Details and Data” shows that payments fraud in Australia is increasing as part of a global trend, but that detection and prevention measures employed by the industry are showing promising results in putting downward pressure on fraud.

    In 2013, the total rate of fraud on Australian cards and cheques increased from 15.0 cents to 16.9 cents per $1,000 spent.

    • Cheque fraud remained under 1c in every $1,000.
    • Fraud on Australian payment cards increased from 43.6c to 48.7c in every $1,000 spent, down from the peak of 51.5c in 2011.

    This increase is largely due to a rise in card-not present-fraud with the report showing that the trends seen in recent years continued over the last year. On Australian cards, in 2013:

    • Card-not-present fraud increased from $183.1 million to $219.7 million. This needs to be seen in the context of the strong growth in online spending by Australians: in the four years to December 2013 online purchases increased by an estimated 140%. This compares to a 67% increase in card-not-present fraud over the same period.
    • Counterfeit / skimming fraud remained at $37.2 million, well down from its peak of $66.0 million in 2011. The use of chip technology is continuing to prove effective in countering this type of fraud.
    • Lost and stolen fraud increased from $27.0 million to $34.0 million. This suggests that as enhanced fraud detection tools and chip technology make it more difficult for criminals, they are reverting to simple theft and deception to obtain cards.

    The report shows that measures by the industry to limit card fraud are having an effect in keeping fraud rates comparatively low. In 2013, Australia’s card fraud rate was a third less than that of the UK.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said that fraud trends are being influenced globally by changes in the way people shop, in payment technology and in criminal activities.

    “Card-not-present fraud has gone from making up less than half of all card fraud in 2008 to reaching 72% in 2013. The biggest factor here is the very high growth rate of online retail,” said Mr Hamilton.

    “The challenge for the industry is to get every online merchant to protect card data by complying with the PCI standards, and to extend the use of the strong authentication methods and detection tools available,” said Mr Hamilton.

    The report also highlights measures underway to help further reduce counterfeit/skimming fraud and lost and stolen fraud including the roll-out of chip on proprietary debit cards, chip-reading at ATMs and the phasing out of signatures in favour of PIN from August 2014.

    “We are living through a profound and permanent change in people’s spending habits, as shopping goes virtual. The economic and social benefits of that are powerful, but the new report helps the community scrutinise and better manage the fraud side-effects. We can see the longer- term trends and where to focus fraud prevention efforts,” said Mr Hamilton.

    “Australia Payments Fraud – Details and Data” is available at www.apca.com.au. APCA plans to release this report on an annual basis.

    For further information:

    Dr Brad Pragnell, Head of Industry Policy P: (02) 9216 4837 M: 0408 438 618 

    ENDS

    Tips on how to protect against online card fraud

    Tips for consumers:

    • Always keep your PC security software up-to-date and do a full scan often.

    • Only provide your card details on secure websites - look for the locked padlock.

    • Register for, and use your financial institution’s online fraud prevention solutions whenever prompted.

    • Check your account statements and report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.

    Tips for retailers:

    • Use a fully hosted payment gateway provider to collect payments on your behalf.

    • Watch for suspicious orders. Is the order unusually large for your business? Is the customer trying various cards in order to make a successful payment?

    • Avoid shipping re-saleable goods to a temporary address (e.g. hotel) or to a PO box number.

    • Never take payments on behalf of any other business or person.

    • Only make refunds to the card originally used to pay for the goods.

    • Take advantage of the tools available such as online authentication methods – American Express Safekey, MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa 

     
  • Submission to the Government's Financial System Inquiry

    "The Australian payments system is one of the most developed and dynamic in the world."

     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    3 April 2014

    APCA continues to support co-regulatory approach

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, has lodged an industry response to the Commonwealth Government’s Financial System Inquiry (FSI) supporting a continued co-regulatory approach to payments system enhancements.

    The 17 years since the release of the Wallis Report in March 1997 have seen significant changes within Australian payments. In March 1997, payment offerings such as BPAY and PayPal did not exist and payment channels and instruments such as mobile, online and contactless were unknown – today these offerings, channels and instruments are used by millions of Australians every day. Conversely, Australians today use 75 per cent fewer cheques than they did in 1997.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said, “The Australian payments system is one of the most developed and dynamic in the world. Business and consumers have access to a broad yet increasing range of electronic payment methods and continue to embrace them enthusiastically.”

    Amidst this changing landscape, the payments industry and the Reserve Bank of Australia as payments regulator have been able to adapt and foster improvement through a co-regulatory approach. Mr Hamilton said that the industry continues to support this approach.

    “We have said to the FSI that the current regulatory structure encourages industry engagement with the regulator. We believe this has worked well and there is no need for any radical overhaul,” said Mr Hamilton.

    Mr Hamilton identified the ongoing New Payments Platform (NPP) initiative and the proposed new Australian Payments Council as recent examples.

    “The NPP is new payments infrastructure currently being developed collaboratively by industry in association with the RBA. It will provide businesses and consumers with a fast, versatile, data- rich payments system for making their everyday payments. This highlights the long-term benefit that a co-regulatory approach can produce.”

    “With the rapid development of new payment technologies, there will be emerging challenges that need to be addressed. The new Payments Council, which will include the RBA and industry stakeholders, will provide a venue for the industry as a whole to debate and respond to these challenges.”

    “We believe the co-regulatory approach taken thus far has proven to be a sound and sustainable way of resolving issues in a technologically-complex network industry,” said Mr Hamilton.

    APCA’s submission to the FSI is available at www.apca.com.au

     

    ENDS

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications
    Tel. (02) 9216 4817 Mobile: 0409 716 556

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au 

     
  • New Independent Chair

    "Brings a wealth of skills and senior level payments experience to the Board gained both in Australia and overseas." 

     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    5 February 2014

    APCA Appoints New Chair

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, announced today the appointment of Mr Robert Craig as the company’s new independent chair effective 1 January 2014.

    Mr Craig succeeds Mr Russell Rechner who retired at the end of his term in December 2013. APCA deputy chair Mr Stuart Woodward acknowledged the significant contribution made by Mr Rechner during his six-year service as APCA chair.

    “Russell presided over a period of steady expansion in APCA’s workload and increased value to the payments industry and its participants. This culminated in members voting for major constitutional changes to enhance industry governance in Russell’s last general meeting as chair. On behalf of the Board, I thank him and wish him all the best,” said Mr Woodward.

    Mr Craig brings a wealth of skills and senior level payments experience to the Board gained both in Australia and overseas. Prior to 2008, his 25-year career in financial services included senior roles at Westpac Banking Corporation, National Australia Bank, Bank of New Zealand and National Westminster Bank.

    In 2008, Mr Craig left banking to pursue alternative interests, including private equity and start-up investment. Since 2010 he has also been working with international consulting firms KR Strategy and ICG (where he is currently Practice Leader - Transformation) specialising in leading large scale organisational transformation programmes.

    Mr Craig has been appointed to a three-year term and will chair his first meeting of the APCA Board on 6 February 2014.

    Mr Woodward said the Board was delighted that Mr Craig had accepted the position. “The payments industry is entering a sustained period of structural and regulatory change, with major developments under way such as the New Payments Platform and the proposed Payments Council. APCA is in the centre of this evolution. With his all-round experience and passion for transformation, Rob will be a valuable addition to the industry leadership team,” said Mr Woodward.

    Mr Craig said that he was looking forward to the challenge offered by his new role. “This is an exciting time for APCA and the payments industry. I look forward to working with my fellow directors and the APCA team to improve Australia’s payments system,” said Mr Craig. 

    ENDS

     

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications Tel. (02) 9216 4817
    Mobile: 0409 716 556 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au 

     
  • Towards a Digital Economy

    MEDIA RELEASE

    20 December 2013

    APCA releases new report on cheques and the digital economy 

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, released today the second Milestones Report on the transition of Australian payments to the digital economy.

    Today’s report shows that the rapid decline in cheque use is continuing as electronic alternatives become more convenient. Figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia show that for the year to June 2013, cheques use dropped 13.3% – down from 241 million to 209 million. This compares with a 12.5% drop for the year to December 2012.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said “When it comes to Australian payments, we are on the bridge to the digital economy. Our findings in 20121 predicted the irreversible decline of cheques. Recent trends suggest that they will be a rarity within five years. The pace of decline reflects the increasing uptake of convenient electronic payments.”

    Today’s Report highlights the initiatives undertaken by financial institutions and Government to ensure a smooth transition to the digital economy for those that still rely on cheques. It notes that: 

    • Same-day settlement for direct entry payments, which was introduced in November 2013, will support faster movement of value in routine electronic payments.
    • The use of mobile phones for payments, in particular for online banking, is growing.
    • APCA is coordinating a digital cheque clearing strategy to increase efficiencies in the cheque
    • processing system.
    • The industry is developing new real-time payments infrastructure which will improve electronic payments and provide another alternative to cheques.
    • Initiatives to automate paper-based processes, such as SuperStream for superannuation payments and PEXA for electronic property exchange in the real estate industry, have made significant advances. 

    “Towards the Digital Economy: Milestones Report” – Second Report is available at apca.com.au

    Milestones Reports2are released twice a year to review progress against the action plan published by APCA in May 20122 . The next milestones report is due for release in mid-2014. 

    ENDS

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications Tel. (02) 9216 4817 Mobile: 0409 716 556

    page1image23704

    1 “The Decline of Cheques: Building a Bridge to the Digital Economy” is available at www.apca.com.au

    2 See “The Decline of Cheques: Building a Bridge to the Digital Economy” 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

  • Payments Fraud

    Australians have embraced the convenience and benefits of online shopping, but need to take care as they do so.

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 17 December 2013

    Payments fraud in Australia

    Payments fraud data released today by the Australian Payments Clearing Association, the payments industry self-regulatory body, show that the total fraud on cheques and Australian-issued payment cards increased by 2% to $290 million over the year to 30 June 2013. The rate of cheque fraud increased against a decline in overall cheque volumes, whereas the rate of card fraud decreased slightly as overall card activity continued to grow. 

    The new figures, for the 12 months to 30 June 2013, show that:

    • The rate of fraud on all Australian-issued payment cards1 dropped from 47.4c to 46.1c in every $1,000 transacted. The overall amount of payments card fraud increased by 1% to $280.5 million. This is against an increase of 4% to $607.9 billion on the total amount spent by Australians on their cards.
    • Cheque fraud increased from a historic low in 2012 but remained under 1c in every $1,000 transacted. The overall amount of cheque fraud increased by 26% to $9.9 million. This is against a 4% drop to $1,197.0 billion in the total amount transacted on cheques. 

    Today’s data, including a breakdown of payment instruments by fraud categories, are available at www.apca.com.au

    The figures show that card-not-present (CNP) fraud continued to represent the bulk of fraud on Australian- issued cards over the 12 month period. CNP fraud (occurring2mainly online) increased by 5% to $198.9 million. This is against a reported increase of more than 14% in internet shopping over the same period.

    “Australians have embraced the convenience and benefits of online shopping, but need to take care as they do so. If merchants and consumers take simple precautions and make use of the security measures offered, we can all protect ourselves and beat the fraudsters”, said APCA CEO Chris Hamilton. 

    Information on how online retailers can protect themselves and their customers is available at www.apca.com.au/getsmart. Retailers should look to use strong online authentication methods such as MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa. Consumers are encouraged to register for and use their financial institution’s online fraud prevention solutions whenever prompted.

    The figures also show that counterfeit and skimming fraud on Australian-issued payment cards dropped by 29% to $37.8 million over the 12 month period. This total consists of $24.3 million occurring in Australia - a 4% increase - primarily due to skimming at ATMs, and $13.5 million occurring overseas - a drop of 55%. 

    “It is encouraging to see the hard work of financial institutions, card schemes and law enforcement paying off. Chip technology is having a significant impact on reducing card skimming at POS terminals. The industry is now moving towards chip-reading ATMs to close the loop on skimming fraud”, said Mr Hamilton.

    Consumers can help protect against skimming fraud with simple measures like covering their hand when entering their PIN at an ATM. More tips for consumers are available at www.apca.com.au. 

    Today’s figures indicate that as detection tools become more sophisticated, criminals are reverting to simple theft and deception to obtain cards. Lost and stolen fraud on Australian-issued cards increased by 33% to $30.4 million over the 12 month period. Within Australia, lost and stolen fraud increased by 32% to $20.8 million and overseas, by 33% to $9.6 million.

    “The industry is working to make life harder for card thieves for example by phasing out signature authentication in favour of PIN by mid-2014. But nothing beats good old-fashioned vigilance – treat your card like cash and keep it safe at all times”, said Mr Hamilton.

    Consumers are reminded to immediately report a lost or stolen card to their financial institution and to check their statements carefully for any unauthorised transactions.

    Importantly, Australian consumers are not liable if unauthorised transactions are made with their cards and will be reimbursed their funds as long as they have taken due care. 

    ______________________________

    1 As from this release, APCA is no longer presenting separate fraud rates for proprietary debit cards and scheme credit, debit and charge cards. Instead, we present fraud rates for all Australian-issued cards. The reason for this is that the Reserve Bank no longer publishes data on activity for the separate card types. APCA will continue to release fraud data for these two card types at www.apca.com.au, but fraud rates will only be available for Australian-issued cards.page1image28856 page1image29016 page1image29176 page1image29336

    2 NAB Online Retail Sales Index 

    ENDS

     

    For more information: Ida Turner – APCA Communications | +61 409 716 556 

     

    More tips on how to protect against online card fraud

    Tips for consumers:

    • Always keep your PC security software up-to-date and do a full scan often.
    • Only provide your card details on secure websites - look for the locked padlock.
    • Register for, and use your financial institution’s online fraud prevention solutions whenever prompted.
    • Check your account statements and report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.

    Tips for retailers:

    • Use a fully hosted payment gateway provider to collect payments on your behalf.
    • Watch for suspicious orders. Is the order unusually large for your business? Is the customer trying various cards in order to make a successful payment?
    • Avoid shipping re-saleable goods to a temporary address (eg hotel) or to a PO box number.
    • Never take payments on behalf of any other business or person.
    • Only make refunds to the card originally used to pay for the goods.
    • Take advantage of the tools available such as online authentication methods - MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa. 

     

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9216 4888 Email info@apca.com.au www.apca.com.au

  • Consultation on establishment of an Australian Payments Council

    MEDIA RELEASE

    21 October 2013

    APCA and RBA joint consultation on establishment of an Australian Payments Council 

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association and the Reserve Bank of Australia today announced the initiation of a joint consultation on establishing a new payments industry coordination body, the Australian Payments Council.

    The proposed Council will engage directly with the Payments System Board to foster ongoing improvements to the Australian payments system.

    The new senior-level body will coordinate dialogue between the industry and the Payments System Board on strategic objectives and other payment issues. It will work to generate common industry positions for action and adoption by the industry.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said “When systemic collaboration is needed, the Australian payments industry has a strong track record – the New Payments Platform Program is just the most recent example. However, there can be an initial challenge in developing the common strategic resolve to take action. Having a standing body such as the proposed Payments Council, with the ability to engage with the Payments System Board, should strengthen our ability to identify and address issues of common relevance in a timely way.”

    It is proposed that the Council be made up of representatives of diverse parties in the payments system including financial institutions, payment schemes and other payment and service providers. The proposed framework comprises a payments community of interested parties, from which the Council will be drawn.

    The establishment of such a body was proposed by the Payments System Board in the Strategic Review of Innovation in the Payments System conclusions in 2012. APCA and the Reserve Bank undertook a series of informal discussions with industry participants on possible approaches during the latter half of 2012 and have been jointly working on a proposal for the Council. 

    A consultation paper outlining the proposal is available on the APCA website. Responses are due on 18 November 2013. 

    ENDS

    Media:

    Ida Turner, APCA Communications Tel. (02) 9216 4817 Mobile: 0409 716 556 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519 Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

  • NPP Steering Committee appoints new Chair

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 3 October 2013 

    New Payments Platform Steering Committee Appoints New Chair

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA), the administrator of the New Payments Platform (NPP) Program, today announced that Mr Paul Lahiff has been appointed independent chair of the Program’s peak body, the NPP Steering Committee. 

    Mr Lahiff brings a wealth of expertise to the NPP Steering Committee. His career includes more than 30 years’ experience in financial services including CEO / Managing Director roles at Mortgage Choice, Heritage Building Society, Permanent Trustee and WDScott.

    Mr Lahiff is currently chair of Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers, RFi and LIXI Australia. He is also a non-executive director on the board of Cancer Council NSW and until recently, ASX-listed Thorn Group Australia. In mid-2013, he was appointed chair of the APCA Stakeholder Forum. 

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said that the NPP Steering Committee was delighted Mr Lahiff had accepted the new position. “Paul’s skills have made him widely respected in the payments community. He will be a great asset to the Program,” said Mr Hamilton.

    Mr Lahiff will chair his first meeting of the NPP Steering Committee on 4 October 2013.

    The NPP Steering Committee comprises senior representatives from the Australian banking and mutual sector, an alternative payments provider and the APCA CEO. It is overseeing development of the new payments platform to enable fast, data-enriched and simply addressed payments services for Australian businesses and consumers.

    The NPP Program commenced at the end of June 2013 with the initial define and plan phase due for completion by the end of 2013. 

    ENDS

    For further information

    Contact: Ida Turner, APCA Communications
    P: (02) 9216 4817 M: 0409716556 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519 Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

     

  • NPP Program welcomes new participants

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 28 August 2013

     

    New Payments Platform Program Welcomes New Participants 

    The Australian Payments Clearing Association, the administrator of the New Payments Platform (NPP) Program, today announced that nine additional organisations have joined this major industry initiative.

    The initial participants are Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, Citigroup Pty Ltd, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cuscal Limited, National Australia Bank Limited, Reserve Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation.

    The nine new participants are Australian Settlements Limited, Bank of America National Association, Bank of Queensland Limited, Indue Ltd, HSBC Bank Australia Limited, ING Bank (Australia) Limited, Macquarie Bank Limited, PayPal Pte Ltd and Suncorp Bank.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said that the NPP Steering Committee was delighted to have so many leading organisations from across the payments spectrum joining the Program. 

    “It further demonstrates the industry’s commitment to take a collaborative proposal forward and develop new fast, data-rich infrastructure for everyday payments.”

    Program participants have the opportunity to review plans, budgeting, business requirements and technical concepts for the NPP as they develop, get involved in working groups and other forums and provide input to NPP decision-making. Executives from the 17 participants came together for an initial two-day plenary workshop on 26 and 27 August. The NPP Program is being independently managed for the industry by KPMG, following a competitive tender process earlier in the year.

    “Developing new payments infrastructure is a major undertaking with plenty of challenges to overcome. But with access to payments expertise and support from across the industry we can move ahead with confidence,” said Mr Hamilton. 

    The NPP Program was launched at the end of June 2013 with the initial define and plan phase due for completion by the end of 2013. 

    ENDS

    For further information

    Contact: Ida Turner, APCA Communications
    P: (02) 9216 4817 M: 0409716556 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519 Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

  • Industry-wide program to develop the NPP gets underway

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 1 July 2013

    Industry-wide program to develop the New Payments Platform gets underway

    The payments industry has begun a collaborative program to develop new, fast, flexible and data-rich payments infrastructure for Australia.

    The program commenced with the first meeting of the New Payments Platform (NPP) Steering Committee on Thursday 20 June 2013. The Committee initially comprises senior representatives from Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Citigroup, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Cuscal, National Australia Bank, Reserve Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corporation and APCA. The Committee will also have an independent chair, for whom a search process is currently underway. 

    The initial six-month phase of the Program aims to develop business requirements for the proposed platform, together with a detailed plan and budget for the next phases of development. The Steering Committee has appointed KPMG as program manager to ensure a well-resourced, highly collaborative industry program. The Proposal envisages 2014 seeing a Request for Tender for, and selection of, the key elements of the operating solution.

    The organisations represented on the Steering Committee have agreed to participate in, and fund, the initial design and plan phase of the Program. Other account-keeping institutions will also be invited to participate in coming months, in order to make the Program as open and comprehensive as possible. 

    The NPP Program responds to strategic objectives for the Australian payments system set by the Reserve Bank’s Payments System Board in June 2012, after a two-year review of payments innovation (published here). The industry’s proposal in response was submitted to the Reserve Bank and welcomed by the Payments System Board in February 2013 (published here). 

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said, “From a standing start last June, key industry players have debated and agreed on a world-leading business architecture, enlisted the support of the Reserve Bank for the approach, secured initial funding and hired globally recognised expertise to make it happen. I want to pay tribute to the hard work and effective collaboration of senior industry figures to give us such a great start.”

    “The Steering Committee is delighted to welcome KPMG on board as the program manager. Their strong pedigree in large-scale program management demonstrated global payments expertise and detailed knowledge of Australian financial services helped them win an intensely competitive tender. We are all now looking forward to working together to improve the Australian payments system.” 

    ENDS

    For further information:

    Contact: Brad Pragnell, APCA Industry Policy
    P: (02) 9216 4837 M: 0408 438 618 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519 Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au

  • Payments Fraud

    "Chip card technology and extensive use of PINs is giving us a real chance to stamp out card skimming."

     

    MEDIA RELEASE

    Sydney: 6 June 2013

    Payments fraud in Australia declines in 2012

    Payments fraud figures released today by the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA), the payments industry self-regulatory body, show a year-on-year drop for the first time since 2006 when publication began.

    The new figures for the 2012 calendar year show that the total amount of fraud on Australian cheques and payment cards dropped by 10% to $270m. When calculated as a proportion of the total amount transacted by Australians using these payment instruments, fraud dropped from 16.3c to 15.0c in every $1,000 transacted. Within this total:

    • Cheque fraud remained under 1c in every $1,000 transacted. 
    • Fraud on all Australian payment cards dropped by 11% to $261m. The rate of fraud dropped from 51.5c to 43.5c in every $1,000 transacted.
    • Scheme credit, debit and charge card fraud (signature-permitted debit, credit and charge cards and card-not-present (CNP) transactions) dropped from 96.4c to 79.3c in every $1,000 transacted.
    • Proprietary debit card fraud (PIN-only cards – POS and ATM transactions) increased from 4.9c to 5.4c in every $1,000 transacted.

    Today’s figures, including a breakdown by fraud types, are available at www.apca.com.au.

    Counterfeit and skimming fraud on Australian-issued scheme credit, debit and charge cards - used domestically and overseas - dropped by 53% over the past year to $27.6m, the lowest level since 2006.

    APCA CEO Chris Hamilton said “This promising news reflects the sustained effort of card schemes, financial institutions, merchants and law enforcement agencies. Chip card technology and extensive use of PINs is giving us a real chance to stamp out card skimming. This allows the industry to devote more preventative effort to online fraud, which continues to be a challenge as the internet becomes an ever larger part of daily life.”

    Over the past year, CNP fraud (occurring mainly online) dropped by 8% to $183m. This is against an increase of more than 20%1 in internet shopping over the same period. The drop in CNP fraud can largely be attributed to an increase in the use of authentication tools such as MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa, as well as dedicated fraud prevention tools.

    Mr Hamilton said that while this first drop in CNP fraud is encouraging, there is no room for complacency. “It is essential that retailers and consumers get smart about online card fraud by taking some simple but powerful security measures when on the Net.”

    Information and video case studies on how small online retailers can protect their businesses and customers from card fraud are available at www.apca.com.au/getsmart. 

    The total amount of fraud on proprietary debit cards remained low at $16m. This is despite a 30% increase to $9.5m in counterfeit and skimming fraud, primarily driven by skimming at ATMs and in taxis over the year.

    “Helping to prevent this type of fraud can be as simple as watching how your card is swiped and making sure to protect your PIN with your hand when entering it at POS terminals and ATMs,” said Mr Hamilton.

    More tips on how consumers can protect against skimming fraud are available at www.apca.com.au/protectyourpin

    Despite the overall decline, today’s figures also show an increase in fraud occurring on lost and stolen cards. As fraud detection tools become more sophisticated, criminals tend to revert to theft or deceiving consumers to hand over their cards or PINs. Consumers are reminded to immediately report a lost or stolen card to their financial institution and to check their statements carefully for any unauthorised transactions.

    Importantly, Australian consumers are not liable if unauthorised transactions are made with their cards and will be reimbursed their funds as long as they have taken due care.

     

    For further information

    Contact: Ida Turner, APCA Communications
    P: (02) 9216 4817 M: 0409716556

     

    ENDS

     

    How to protect against online card fraud

    Tips for retailers:

    • Use a fully hosted payment gateway provider to collect payments on your behalf.
    • Watch for suspicious orders. Is the order unusually large for your business? Is the customer trying various cards in order to make a successful payment?
    • Avoid shipping re-saleable goods to a temporary address (eg hotel) or to a PO box number.
    • Never take payments on behalf of any other business or person.
    • Only make refunds to the card originally used to pay for the goods.
    • Take advantage of the tools available such as online authentication methods - MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa.

    Tips for consumers:

    • Always keep your PC security software up-to-date and do a full scan often.
    • Only provide your card details on secure websites - look for the locked padlock.
    • Register for, and use your financial institution’s online fraud prevention solutions whenever prompted.
    • Check your account statements and report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution. 

     

    • 1 NAB Online Retail Sales Index 

    Australian Payments Clearing Association Limited ABN 12 055 136 519
    Level 6, 14 Martin Place, Sydney NSW 2000 Telephone +61 2 9221 8944 Facsimile +61 2 9221 8057 www.apca.com.au