Canadians charged $4.9-billion to their Visa and Mastercard credit cards in 2017, an increase of 122 per cent from 10 years earlier, according to the Canadian Bankers Association1 (CBA). The number of cards in circulation was up 16 per cent to 73.4 million and the number of merchant outlets accepting the two cards increased by 46 per cent to 1.7 million.
But in spite of the widespread use of credit cards, and the increasing popularity of smart phone apps such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay linked to credit cards, many Canadians are still worried about the security of these technologies.
The latest fraud survey2 by CPA Canada found that 68 per cent of respondents believe electronic payment methods, such as tapping debit and credit cards or using smartphone apps, facilitate fraudulent activities. Forty per cent feel uncomfortable buying online, and 35 per cent report being a victim of financial fraud at some point in their lives, with credit card fraud (75 per cent) and debit card fraud (25 per cent) being the top two types of fraud listed.
Banks and credit card companies take credit card fraud very seriously, and have highly sophisticated security systems and teams of fraud experts in place to monitor transactions, protect customers and prevent and detect credit card fraud.
Security measures are constantly being enhanced and technology is being upgraded to prevent fraud, including the use of chip technology for debit and credit cards. These cards use a technology called “cryptography” that allows the card and the store terminal to communicate with each other during the transaction and carry out security checks to ensure the card is valid.
The microchip is state-of-the-art in payment card technology and is extremely difficult to duplicate. The transition to chip-based technology rolled out successfully and, in Canada, all debit cards and ABMs and most store terminals at retailers are now capable of chip transactions.
While Canada’s banks have sophisticated security systems in place to prevent credit and debit card fraud, you can also minimize risk and protect yourself by:
Interac3 offers the following tips to help merchants protect themselves against debit card fraud:
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