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New credit card could cut online fraud

A new credit card that could make online shopping safer is being trialled by Visa.

The new Emue Card is being trialled by 500 employees of the accounting firm Deliotte until the end of the year and is the latest weapon in battle against online fraud.

Whilst a number of innovations have been generally successful in reducing traditional examples of credit card fraud, such as the introduction of Chip & Pin terminals in parts of Europe, the level of “card holder not present” fraud, which relates to transactions occurring online, by post or by phone, has increased in recent years to the point where it makes up 50% of all fraudulent credit card activity.

The new card features an embedded keypad and numeric display. To make a purchase, the user enters their PIN into the card which then generates a unique security code which is then entered into the payment screen. This code is then used by the merchant verify the purchase.

To access the security code, a would-be fraudster must have both the card and the PIN number to be able to make a purchase online.

Sandra Alzetta, head of innovation at Visa, told the BBC that the card was bringing the principles of chip and pin technology to the online world.

“The card needs to be globally compatible: that means embossed characters for mechanical swipes, a magnetic strip for systems that require a signature, the fixed three digit security code and now the unique four figure code.

“You have to remember that our cards work across the world and not every country or retailer has access to the level of technology we might be used to,” she said.

According to figures released by Apacs, the UK payments association, earlier this year, £328.4m was lost to “cardholder not present” fraud in 2008.

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