Payment Methods

Visa: EMV Drives POS Counterfeit Fraud Down 76 Pct

Visa: Amid EMV Rollout, Counterfeit Fraud Down

Visa said this week that as acceptance of EMV cards has gained traction in the U.S., counterfeit fraud, measured in dollars for these card present transactions, has dropped precipitously.

The latest stats show that the continued upgrade to chip card acceptance – which began in 2015 – has led to a decrease in counterfeit fraud dollars on the order of 76 percent, as measured in December of 2018 vs. September of 2015. Total counterfeit fraud dollars decreased by 49 percent, the payments giant said.

“EMV” is shorthand for Europay, Mastercard and Visa chip cards.

Visa also said that more than 3.5 million merchant locations now accept chip cards, which represents a 771 percent boost since U.S. businesses began migrating to EMV, when 392,000 merchants had such acceptance in place.

That means roughly 75 percent of U.S. storefronts now accept chip cards, according to the data.

Visa said that at the end of March, there were 509 million Visa chip cards in the U.S., which represents a 219 percent boost since October of 2015.

Visa’s data also shows that 99 percent of the overall U.S. payments volume in March of this year was done with EMV cards (where the March tally was $81 billion).

The increased adoption through the past few years comes in the wake of the Oct. 1 “liability shift,” which meant merchants would be on the hook for financial losses tied to counterfeit fraud conducted at their point of sale terminals. Counterfeit fraud was more widespread, as fraudsters had attacked the vulnerabilities of magnetic stripe cards, which store account data and codes. By way of contrast, EMV chips create one-time codes for transactions.


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