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June 13, 2011

  • News:  Australians Grapple With Card Issues 

    Australian continue to fight against credit and debit card fraudsters while at the same time grappling with the Reserve's Bank considerations to limit certain retailer's fees. The recent computer hacking incident in the Sony's PlayStation Network website escalated the already growing concern by credit cardholders that banks and companies are not giving adequate attention to protecting their personal data. The resulting breach led Australian banks to re-issue more than 30,000 credit cards. According to the Australian Payments Clearing Association, credit card fraud cost over $155 million last year with the theft of more than 660,000 cases of card fraud.

    Cybercriminals have focused more on Australians than other countries in recent months. Although Australian's population consists of just 0.33 percent of the world's population, it sits 9th in the number of credit card fraud attacks. Additionally, the country rates 5th among countries that host card attacks. Adding to Australians dismay is the knowledge that retailers have been charging an excessive surcharge for each credit card transaction that goes beyond the actual cost to them. After a number of complaints, the country's Reserve Bank is now considering placing limits on surcharges that retailers charge customers during credit and debit card purchases.

    Despite growing consumer concerns, experts say there are a number of things cardholders can do and new technology that is aimed at fighting fraud. Consumers can protect their debit and credit card information from on looking thieves by covering the PIN keypads when they are entering PIN numbers and zip codes. New chip and PIN technology is also growing in popularity which has proven to reduce card fraud by 24 percent saving the financial industry over $34.5 million over the past year. Distribution of chip and PIN technology cards has grown from 12 percent three years ago to nearly 76 percent today. In spite of the reliability of chip and PIN technology, ultimately, retailers must also maintain compliance of payment card security standards.

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