Mastercard Europe Fraud Conference

I was amused by the title of the conference being staged at the resort where we have an apartment over half term – the idea of fraudsters meeting to defraud mastercard seemed somewhat brazen!

I always remember hearing a senior “security” director from Visa presenting at a conference a few years ago. He stood out initially because he was using transparencies rather than a laptop for his slides.

He described key issues in general terms before revealing that hed first used the slides 10yrs before. The issues hadn’t changed regardless of the internet – he suggested that the internet helped him because it often left a trail and online authorisation provided the means to instantly stop a card from being used.

Yet internet fraud continues to be cited as one of the biggest source of card fraud.

In online banking, Barclays are introducing a hardware device to its UK service that has to be connected to the PC as an additional security measure (an annoyance if you used online banking whilst travelling!).

Yet who bears much of the fraud cost? Usually the retailers who find purchases reclaimed against by the bank. This despite merchant charges of up to 9% according to a recent UK Govt report. An outrageous price.

Having been through a process with one of our ventures of securing a merchant id, I found
– Barclaycard were by far the most awful to deal with and I recommend strongly against them. Inept, bureaucratic and sloppy are my kind words about them
– Lloyds were plain unhelpful
– RBS Streamline were good with a personal touch
– Bank of Scotland were most impressive in pre-sales, with lots of follow-up.

Easiest and best price for online business though – Google Checkout. Much cheaper than Paypal for merchant charges. They are also sitting on the Streamline infrastructure, or so it appears from their T&Cs in the UK.

Whilst customers seem to be required to get a google account in the process, depending on your market, this may be no issue.

Google’s pricing may well win it large online market share – how it handles fraud issues remains unknown, but the fraudsters are certain to test it.

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