What do we want? EMV! Where do we want it? Over there!
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27 August 2015Gareth Lodge
In my last post, I talked about the experience of using my credit card in the US, and how just inconsistent it feels. Some of it was undoubtedly tied to security – using photo ID or entering zip codes - though I'm far from convinced that they provided any security at all. In some conversations we’ve had, there has been a feeling that US fraud is actually manageable at an industry level – a belief that they are in line or better than in many other countries. Yet the recent figures from Nilson seem to paint a very different picture. Whilst accounting for 21.4% or $6.187 trillion of total volume last year, the US accounted for 48.2% or $7.86 billion of gross losses worldwide on plastic cards. Zil has – and will! – discuss the implementation of EMV at length with anyone, so I won’t discuss that here. What struck me was how ineffective the checks were currently. As a consumer (rather than a payments geek) it struck me:
- Asking for zip code as authorisation seems pointless – if I’ve stolen a purse or wallet with cards in, I’m likely to have either the zip code already or have enough info to find it within seconds on the internet
- Asking for a signature, yet not even checking it seems odd. Perhaps I have an honest face or perhaps the risk didn’t warrant the effort
- Photo ID, at least for non-US, seems pointless. How many people can spot fake ID, or know what a, say, Latvian national ID card looks like?