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The Persistent Payment Fraud Challenge and What Can Be Done About It

As I review the latest payments industry news, I am trying to identify if there could be some low-hanging fruit that would make sense for the payments card industry to focus on. It seems that there is a consensus out there that most consumers still prefer using their familiar plastic cards and do not show obvious signs of abandoning them for more advanced payment form factors (like mobile payments) anytime soon. Although it may sound as counterintuitive, it looks like there might still be decent room left for incremental innovation and improvements in the plain vanilla payment card space. I will try to explain why, where, and potentially how.

The Persistent Fraud Challenge

EMV cards were originally introduced to prevent the possibility of fraud by counterfeiting mag stripe cards. The EMV technology is indeed very effective and successful in curbing that type of fraudulent activity. Unfortunately, EMV payment cards are not protecting (although they easily could) sensitive payment credentials (like PAN) when transacting with POS terminals, since EMV designers probably wanted to preserve backward compatibility with the way mag stripe transactions were processed by merchants and acquirers. It means that if fraudsters eventually hack into vulnerable merchant's systems, they could obt ...

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