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Fraud Wars: How Can Biometrics Help Win the Card Fraud Battle?

Payments Journal

Fighting fraudsters is a complex and ever-evolving challenge. As consumers change the way they pay, fraudsters change the way they steal. For banks to keep up, these new battles require new tactics to minimize losses and reassure consumers.

The rapid adoption of contactless payment cards has given rise to one such ‘new battle’, creating a new discourse surrounding contactless fraud. Whether it’s the digital pick-pocket skimming on busy subways, or spending sprees made on stolen cards, these headlines are making consumers think twice about tap & pay.

While contactless fraud has risen in line with the rate of use, it actually accounts for a pretty small percentage of total card fraud losses. However, with fraud fever spreading and prohibitive payment caps currently limiting genuine spending, the adoption and use of contactless cards is likely to plateau.

So, how can biometrics help conquer the new challenges presented by contactless card fraud? To illustrate, let’s look at how biometrics can directly mitigate the fraud ‘vectors’ (categories of fraud, if you like) that dominate contactless card misuse.

Lost or stolen card fraud

This encompasses any fraudulent use of a card reported lost or stolen. Picture the commonly considered scenario:


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