March 26, 2014 2:32 pm

Debit card fraud drops dramatically, Interac says

The proliferation of chip-enabled debit cards are a big reason why "skimming" fraud is down significantly, according to Interac.

Deborah Baic/Canadian Press

MONTREAL – Electronic payment processor Interac says debit card fraud losses caused by so-called “skimming”, or the stealing of banking information, is at a record low in Canada.

Interact says losses decreased to $29.5 million in 2013 from a high of $142 million in 2009.

Meanwhile, it says fraud involving Interac debit cards in Canada dropped 62 per cent in 2013 to $7.3 million from $18.2 million in 2012, due to improved technology.

The payment company credited chip technology used by bank and credit cards in Canada as primary reason for the decline in fraud.

The new technology, which more securely encrypts personal banking credentials on a card and requires a pin to used during a purchase, is widely used in Canada compared to other jurisdictions, namely the United States.

Earlier this year, Target executives said the use of chip technology in the department store’s own cards could have helped prevent a massive breach of data that compromised million of accounts.

Interac also warned that fraud schemes are increasingly moving online.

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