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Total card fraud in SEPA amounted to €1.26 billion in 2010

8 august 2012

August 8, 2012 – The European Central Bank (ECB) recently published its first report on card fraud. In 2010, in aggregated terms, 0.018% of all transactions in SEPA and 0.040% of the total transaction value were fraudulent. This translates into 11.6 fraudulent transactions and more than €1,700 of losses for every 1,000 cards issued, or 16.3 cases of fraud and more than €2,400 of losses per 1,000 SEPA inhabitants.

Total card fraud in SEPA amounted to €1.26 billion in 2010, which represents an increase of 0.7% since 2007. In the same period the value of transactions increased by 5.1%. The intensity of card fraud thus declined in this period. This was mainly due to a reduction in fraud from 2009 to 2010: the total value of fraud decreased by 12.1%, while transactions increased by 7.7%.

In 2010 card not present (CNP) payments accounted for around half of the total value of fraud, with fraud at POS terminals making up around a third and fraud at ATMs roughly a sixth of the total value of fraud.

The report was compiled by the Eurosystem, which is made up of the ECB and 17 national central banks in the euro area. It analyzes fraud developments related to card payments in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) from 2007 to 2010. SEPA comprises 32 countries — all of the European Union, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway and Switzerland — totalling 458 million citizens in Europe. The report looks at fraud across debit and credit card usage.

Findings from the report include:

  • The total level of fraud amounted to €1.26 billion ($1.54 billion) in 2010, a 12.1 percent decrease over 2009. Overall, 1.2 percent of cards issued within SEPA were used fraudulently.
  • In 2010, half of the value of fraud resulted from card-not-present payments, while a third resulted from POS terminals and a sixth from ATMs.
  • Wider adoption of the EMV chip-based standard is credited for the reduction of POS and ATM fraud from 2007 to 2010. According to data from the EPC, more than 80% of all SEPA cards had an EMV chip at the end of 2010.
  • As card-not-press transactions do not benefit from these EMV security enhancements, CNP fraud has been on an upward trend both in absolute and relative terms.
  • For credit and delayed debit cards, used predominantly in Internet and cross-border transactions, €1 ($1.22) of every €1,010 ($1,237), or around 0.1 percent, was spent in a fraudulent transaction. For debit cards, which are typically used in stores and at ATMs, the proportion was €1 ($1.22) in every €4,545 ($5,567), or 0.02 percent.

The full report is available here – download.

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