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New Safeguards Against Credit Card Fraud

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Another day, another report of a major data breach — or so it seems. Credit card issuers and national chain stores have been in the news lately after being targeted and bested by identity thieves and hackers. But now they’re striking back in various and innovative ways to protect themselves and their customers’ data.

According to an online article from CreditCards.com, credit card issuers like MasterCard® and Capital One® are gearing up in the war against fraudulent transactions and the criminals who make them. MasterCard is in the midst of launching two new programs this year. The first, launched in July and called Identity Theft Resolution, assists customers with canceling stolen credit cards, alerts reporting agencies to card theft and searches for stolen personal data online. Additionally, MasterCard is broadening its Zero-Liability Policy, which protects cardholders in transactions requiring a customer signature, to cover all ATM and PIN-based transactions.

Over at Capital One, a program called Second Look was introduced in May, providing a select group of cardholders with email alerts flagging recurring, renewing or duplicate charges. A spokesman for the company reports that customers have become more aware of potentially fraudulent duplicate charges and are more likely to ask questions. The program will be expanded to all cardholders in the coming months.

On the retail side, Walmart — the victim of a serious security breach in 2005 and 2006 that targeted the chain’s point-of-sale system and siphoned source code and other sensitive data to a computer in Eastern Europe — now requires customers paying with credit cards to enter their three-digit security codes into the payment terminal at the point of sale for transactions for over an undisclosed amount. “People are used to providing their three-digit code with online shopping so it’s not a big shock to them,” Walmart spokesperson Dianna Gee told CreditCards.com. “We’ve seen a reduction in fraudulent transactions.”

In June, Walmart’s warehouse operation Sam’s Club became the first major retailer to issue its co-branded credit card with an embedded microchip to help combat fraud. Chip-enabled EMV cards, already in use worldwide, make it more difficult for thieves to duplicate cardholder information. By one estimate, 70 percent of credit cards will be chipped by the end of 2015.

All of these anti-fraud efforts underscore the fact that data security is EVERYBODY’s responsibility. TransFirst® knows that secure payment processing helps keep you, your business and your customers safe from fraudsters and thieves, and we are committed to keeping our network as safe as possible from data breach threats. That’s why we offer a data breach security program to all our merchants, and why we stress the critical importance of PCI compliance and the value of EMV technology in keeping personal and financial data secure. To learn more, talk to a TransFirst representative today.

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