4,500% Contactless Card Fraud Boom in U.K. Criticized of Uncertainty

4,500% Contactless Card Fraud Boom in U.K. Criticized of Uncertainty


Contactless card fraud was alarmingly up to £7 m in 2016 in the U.K., compared to only £153 k in 2014. Furthermore, clickbait headlines point out the nearly 4,500% increase in the fraud. However, the fraud statistics have been expected to be misleading and also scaremongering, given a few vital facts under consideration.

Not sure whether the headlines sprung from veiled agendas or lack of knowledge, but a hunt through the latest and reliable data could make them a throwaway. Fairly, it is way profitable to educate contactless card users about fraudulent transactions or what to do next after losing their card than giving out unjustifiable statistics to generate clicks. 

Discrimination in Data Keeps Contactless Card Fraud Stats in Suspicion 

The 4,500% face value of the increase in contactless card fraud can be daunting, but without taking in view the growth rate of contactless cards, it reads pointless. In March 2017, there were 107.4 mn contactless cards in circulation whereas 43.3 mn were in March 2014, as per the U.K. Cards Association. That is merely a 148.0% increase. While this gives no explanation to the 4,500% increase in fraud, the rate of growth holds a lesser value than the absolute figure since this went underway from a very low base. 

According to the U.K. Cards Association, £21.8 bn was spent on contactless cards in 2016. This concludes that the £7 m fraud counts as only 0.03% of the whole. Moreover, the issuing banks underwrite all of the fraud or lost amounts if reported in a timely manner.

In the U.K., spending sprees using a contactless card could be up to £30 and limited to one to three transactions. For more spending sprees, the card PIN could be required and the maximum limit could be £90. Besides this, mobile payment options with Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) technology could be more frequented due to secure smartphone screens and fingerprint authentication.

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Hiren Samani

As one of the lead news writers on Tech You n Me, Hiren’s specialization lies in the science and technology domains. His passion for the latest developments in cloud technology, connected devices, nanotechnology, and virtual reality, among others, shines through in the most recent industry coverage he provides. Hiren’s take on the impact of digital technologies across the science, technology, and business domains gives his writing a fresh and modern outlook.

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