In designing Interac products and services, we are driven, as a prominent and trusted financial services brand, by the high level of consumer expectations attached to privacy and security. Let’s look at some examples:
Interac Online bridges the core Interac network with financial institution Web banking sites to allow Internet shoppers to make secure online purchases directly from their bank accounts, without the need to provide any personal financial information, including card and account numbers, to online merchants. Learn more. Interac e-Transfer allows Canadians to send and receive money in near real time across the country, from one bank account to another. It is done quickly and securely through Web banking. With Interac e-Transfers, money never travels by email. Personal or financial information, such as address, phone number and bank account information is not shared and remains private. Learn more. Our collective prevention efforts and significant investments in the fight against fraud, particularly the transition to chip technology, are yielding highly tangible benefits.
While Interac Debit is an extremely safe system, with 99.99% of transactions going through the system without incident, debit card fraud can occur. In 2005, seeing a rising trend in debit card fraud, we made the decision to begin converting Interac branded debit cards, ABMs and POS terminals to EMV chip technology. EMV chip technology makes it extremely difficult for criminals to skim and create counterfeit cards, making a safe system even more secure. This conversion is well underway with all ABMs and debit cards to be converted by 2012 and all merchant terminals by 2015.
Interac Online bridges the core Interac network with financial institution Web banking sites to allow Internet shoppers to make secure online purchases directly from their bank accounts, without the need to provide any personal financial information, including card and account numbers, to online merchants. Learn more.
Interac e-Transfer allows Canadians to send and receive money in near real time across the country, from one bank account to another. It is done quickly and securely through Web banking. With Interac e-Transfers, money never travels by email. Personal or financial information, such as address, phone number and bank account information is not shared and remains private. Learn more.
Our collective prevention efforts and significant investments in the fight against fraud, particularly the transition to chip technology, are yielding highly tangible benefits.
Interac Association is transitioning to chip technology, a new generation of payment card technology that puts the power of a computer onto your Interac debit card. Learn more about chip technology here.
Interac debit card fraud losses to financial institutions resulting from skimming declined to $70 million in 2011 from $119 million in 2010 and a high of $142 million in 2009. The number of cardholders reimbursed fell to 154,170 from 205,200 in 2010 and 238,000 in 2009. This represents 0.0229 per cent of domestic debit card volume and the lowest volume of fraud losses since data were recorded in 2003. Cardholders are protected from losses under the Interac Zero Liability Policy*
Our members have the technology in place to monitor unusual activity and prevent debit card fraud. We work closely with fraud experts, business partners and law enforcement to monitor unusual activity and take immediate steps to protect cardholders.
We play an active role in raising public awareness about the importance of debit card protection and works closely with law enforcement, members and other partners to implement fraud prevention and education programs, such as the Protect Your PIN consumer awareness campaign, and Project Protect, a collaborative initiative focused on educating merchants about how they can help prevent payment card fraud.
More information about Project Protect and Protect your PIN is available in the Tools and Resources section.
We work continuously with law enforcement to arm our members with the latest information and education they need to identify suspected fraud criminals, and prevent fraud at their locations.
Protect your PIN
You can play a key role in fraud prevention by remembering to protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN) and by practicing debit card safety.
Debit Card Safety Tips
- If you have a chip card, insert the card first. If the point-of-sale device is not chip capable it will prompt you to swipe your card. Avoiding an unnecessary swipe of the card will reduce the potential of your card information being skimmed.
- Use your hand or body to shield your PIN during every transaction conducted at an Automated Banking Machine (ABM) or at the checkout.
Keep an eye on your debit card when conducting a transaction at the checkout.
- Check your banking statements regularly and contact your financial institution immediately if you detect any unusual activity, for example, purchases you did not make or missing charges.
Memorize your PIN - only you should know it. If you suspect that someone knows your PIN, even a friend or family member, change it immediately.
Remember to take your card when the transaction is complete.
While we work together with members, stakeholders and top fraud experts to maintain the security of the Interac services, merchants can also play a role in protecting your business and your customers. Click here to learn about Interac fraud prevention.
Merchants can help protect themselves against debit card fraud:
- If a customer has a chip card and your terminal is chip capable, remind your customer to insert the card. Avoiding an unnecessary swipe of the card will reduce the potential of your customer’s card information being skimmed.
- Treat your PIN pads like cash. Keep PIN pads out-of-sight when not in use.
- Check your PIN pads and Automated Banking Machines (ABMs) regularly for anything unusual.
- Lock-up PIN pads at closing.
- Include log-in sheets for accountability of PIN pad in cash open and close procedures.
- Consider adding surveillance cameras.
- Know your employees - exercise due diligence when hiring and check references.
- Remind your customers to protect their PIN when entering it at every opportunity, and if they are inserting a chip card, remind them to take their card when the transaction is complete.
- Talk to your payment service provider about other steps you can take to prevent fraud from happening at your location.
During the transition to chip, some magnetic stripe transactions will continue to take place.
As a result, your customers' magnetic stripes can still be skimmed at terminals that have not been upgraded to chip technology, even if customers have chip cards, so it is important to continue to practice device security and remind your customers to shield their PINs.
If you have a chip terminal, remind chip cardholders to insert their cards first. By inserting first, they avoid an unnecessary swipe of their card and reduce the potential of their magnetic stripes being skimmed.
Throughout the transition, financial institutions will continue to aggressively monitor unusual transaction patterns and prevent fraud before it happens, as they do today.
Because debit transactions are guaranteed, liability shift is not applicable in the Interac services; however, if you do not transition to chip technology by the 2015 deadline, you will not be able to process debit transactions.
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