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Plan to put a mini computer screen on bank cards to beat fraud

by Anh Plumb (2022-08-19)

Customers may soon be offered bank cards with a security code that changes by the hour in a bid to tackle fraud.

The new debit and credit cards will have a tiny computer screen on the back of the plastic near the signature strip.

This is where the three-digit code, called the CVV or CVC number, is located. Customers must provide it when buying over the phone or online. 

Plastic fantastic: New debit and credit cards may have a tiny computer screen on the back

It's supposed to prove the shopper has the card in their possession. 

But if a fraudster gets the code they can keep spending until the customer blocks their card.

If the customer hasn't checked their bank account that day they may not discover a criminal has been spending their money until their account is drained.


Experts say the new cards will help crack down on this type of fraud as crooks would only be able to spend for up to one hour before the code changes.

As soon as the new code appears on the screen, any purchases made with the old one won't go through.

Customers won't need to charge their cards in the same way they do their smartphone as the screen will be powered by a tiny lithium battery hidden in the plastic.

French bank Société Générale has already issued this type of card to 150,000 customers, who are charged an extra €12 (£10.50) for the additional security measure.

Professor Alan Woodward, a cyber crime expert from the University of Surrey, said: 'This is a really good idea but technology must constantly evolve. It's an arms race between the banking industry and the fraudsters. 

'As soon as new measures are developed, criminals are already trying to find ways to crack them.'

There were an estimated 1.9million incidents of cyber fraud in the 12 months to September 2016, which accounted for Cvv2 Shop 16 per cent of all crime, according to National Audit Office figures released yesterday.

In its report the Parliamentary body said: 'There is no single solution, like chip and pin ten years ago, to reduce online card fraud. 

'As more people make payments online using cards, criminals have exploited this vulnerability by stealing card details and using them many times to transact online

'The banks have plans to address this type of fraud by introducing cards that change their security code (the number on the back of the card) every hour.

'This is a positive step, as the re-design may help stop an increase in online card fraud. However, such a plan requires all card providers to participate.'

Growing problem: FFA figures show that consumers lost £618m to card fraud last year

Separate figures from Financial Fraud Action show that individuals lost £618million to card fraud alone last year, up nine per cent from £568million in 2015.

A spokesman for Financial Fraud Action, said: 'Card issuers are currently testing a range of different options. 

'Over the next two years, under European rules, issuers will have to introduce two-factor authentication on card payments. 

'This means that in addition to entering a PIN, customers may have to enter a one-time passcode to confirm payments or complete a biometric test such as providing a finger print.'

He also raised concerns over how the new cards would work when making mail order payments where the customer hands over their card details for use by the retailer at a later date. 

The code will have changed by the time the retailer comes to use them and so won't be able to bill them.

This same problem applies to continuous payment authorities, which are now commonly used as an alternative to direct debits, he warns.

This is where a company uses a customer's card details instead of bank account number and sort code to take a monthly payment for a service such as a magazine subscription or gym membership.

However, Ian McKenna, director of the Finance & Technology Research Centre, said: 'The costs of card fraud are rising to such an extent that unless banks do more to prevent this type of crime, there will come a point where they can no longer afford to guarantee their customers against losses.'

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