Taking a Bite out of Credit Card Fraud

January 21, 2003


Boston, MA, USA January 21, 2003

Despite attempts to diminish credit card fraud, it remains a leading threat to the financial services industry in the U.S.

Today, many fraud schemes exist耀ome old, some new. Methods of committing the crime range from skimming devices to spoof sites to stealing credit card solicitations straight from a victim痴 house. The methods are becoming more sophisticated as usage rates for credit cards continue to grow, as personal information increasingly becomes readily available, and as Internet applications thrive. In the past few years, fraudulent charges have increased. Celent expects this trend to continue unless new measures are adopted to combat it.

"Historically, financial services companies have borne the brunt of fighting credit card fraud, and they have led the way in developing and deploying new tactics. Motivating merchants and consumers to do their part in fighting fraud has always been difficult," comments Ariana-Michele Moore, author of the report. "This past holiday痴 online spending records, and increased awareness of identity theft, are shifting the tides. Today, all three parties to a transaction are looking for ways to stop card fraud."

In response, several solutions are coming to market; however, their ability to reduce or eliminate fraud remains to be seen, at least for some. The biggest problem faced by these solutions is driving consumer adoption without strong incentives. While some solutions are promising, others are simply placeholders for future measures.

This 32-page report will take a look at the current state of credit card fraud in the US and address the issues surrounding it. In addition to providing readers with a background of the latest schemes and challenges, this report will address the latest trends in technologies and their potential for long-run viability.

A is available online.

of Celent Communications' Retail Banking research service can download the report electronically by clicking on the icon to the left.


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Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents


Boston, MA, USA January 21, 2003

Return to report Abstract


  Today's Credit Card Fraud Schemes 4
  Perpetrators & Victims 7
  Impact of Credit Card Fraud 7
  Offline vs. Online Fraud 8
  Barriers 10
  Motivation Consumers 11
  Motivating Merchants 13
  Motivating Financial Institutions 14
  Distinguishing Marketing Gimmicks From Solutions That Work 16
  Identity Theft & Application Fraud 17
  Merchant Fraud Solutions 19
  Neural Networks 20
  Digital Certificates & Signatures 20
  Visa's Initiatives 21
  Mastercard's Initiatives 23
  Verified by Visa & SecureCode Summary 25
  Single-Use Numbers 26
  Smart Cards 27
  Biometrics 28
  Comparing the Solutions 28



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