Canadian skimming losses hit historic low thanks to EMV

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The growth of EMV technology around the world is perhaps one of the biggest steps the industry as a whole has taken to tackle fraud. And while the rollout has not taken place at the same speed everywhere, its impact is always significant.

This has been illustrated by recent figures from Canada’s Interac Association, which revealed that skimming-related debit losses reached an all-time low of CA$11.4 million last year. Of this, less than a tenth of fraud actually occurred in Canada itself, which the organization credited largely to the completion of the migration to EMV technology that started back in 2008.

While all ATMs and debit cards in the country were converted to use the chip technology in 2012, it was only in October 2016 that all POS terminals became EMV compliant. However, this technology, in addition to improved monitoring and detection systems, has greatly helped reduce fraud.

Interac noted that of the CA$351 billion worth of transactions that its network processed in 2016, just 0.003 percent was fraudulent, and just 0.0004 percent occurred in Canada.

Despite these positive figures, it seems that the payments industry still has work to do to reassure consumers about the security of their systems.

A survey conducted by the body found three-quarters of Canadian citizens are concerns about falling victim to skimming, up from 49 percent in 2015. More than a third of people (36 percent) have used their payment card less because of this.

Joanna Schoneveld, senior manager of fraud programs at Interac, said this indicates a widespread misconception about the risk of debit card fraud. Therefore, educating consumers about the protections offered by EMV chips may be highly important.

Ms Schoneveld added that the new figures highlight how EMV-enabled technology is “one of the safest ways to pay”.

Written by Jack Dougal

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