Category Archives: Cards & Payments

Fighting back card fraud as methods are getting trickier

Card skimming – the process of electronically copying information from a card’s magnetic stripe and putting it onto an empty card – is fast emerging as the most common form of credit card fraud globally. With the successful adoption of EMV chip and PIN credit cards and card reading devices, countries such as the UK has recorded a major decline in card fraud in recent years. 

According to a new forecast report from Timetric, credit card fraud in the UK has declined at a CAGR of 18.8 % since 2008 to value US$ 491.9 million in 2012. The main reason for this positive trend has been the introduction of EMV chip and PIN credit cards and card reading devices. Although card fraud is much higher in value terms in developed economies such as the US, the UK and France, these countries have been successful in limiting the growth of fraud by adopting advanced security measures, innovative products and strict regulations in order to prevent fraudulent activities. Emerging economies like China and Russia have lagged behind in introducing such measures and have therefore witnessed significant growth in card fraud.

Card skimming is the most common form of credit card fraud

Every year millions of dollars are lost around the world due to credit card fraud – and fraudsters are only getting more innovative and technological advanced in their hunt for credit card information. Card skimming is the most common form of credit card fraud globally, especially in countries where magnetic stripe cards are still in use. Fraudsters carry pocket skimming devices, which is a battery-operated electronic magnetic stripe reader that can be used to swipe customer’s cards to steal information encoded in it. Skimming devices can also be fitted into the swiping area of POS terminals and ATMs. Since cardholders normally feel safe in such payment situations and do not suspect any malicious activity to happen, skimming can be very difficult to trace. According to Timetric’s new report on trends and issues in managing credit risk cycle, the adoption of EMV chip and PIN credit cards has proven successful in preventing card fraud in the UK and other European countries.

China records largest growth in card fraud

Among the developed markets, the value of card fraud was highest in the US, growing at a CAGR of 2.9% to value US$3.55 billion in 2012. Among the emerging markets, the value of card fraud in China increased at a staggering CAGR of 36.3% to value US$173.3 million in 2012. China was followed by Brazil with a card fraud value of US$150.3 million in 2012 while, in terms of growth, Russia gained the second spot with a CAGR of 28.2%.

Timetric’s report, ‘2020 Foresight: Best Practices in Managing Credit Risk Cycle’ was published on the 29th April 2013 


Future Payments 2013 Awards Gala Dinner

15 – 16 May 2013. Millenium Gloucester Hotel, London.

LONDON. A new event – Future Payments 2013 – is set to start on Wednesday, May 15, in London, bringing to the City an intense two-day insight into the future developments of payments and banking technology.

The happening, organised by Timetric’s VRL Financial News at the Millenium Gloucester Hotel, will see leaders from across the banking, payments, retail and telecoms sectors discuss how technology is changing the industry and people’s behaviour.

All this will take place at a crucial moment for all stakeholders, as the future of payments is all but clear and defined, and the risk of turning opportunities into threats is high.

Worldwide eCommerce revenue is set to reach $936 billion by 2015 and $55 billion is expected to be remitted internationally via mobile phones in 2016; by 2016 more than half of the dollars spent in retail will be influenced by the web, with a quarter of consumers using retail stores as “showrooms” and buying online; 46% of internet users already use social media to inform their purchasing decisions before they buy: new and old players will give their point of view on how these factors are shaping their strategy.

Andy Cook, Timetric Group Publisher, said: “The conference has a clear aim – to get people together from across industries, to find answers to a clear set questions: how are consumers’ expectations changing? What will be the impact of telecommunications advances on the way people transact? How will the payments technology landscape evolve over the next ten years? Should payments technology shape consumer behaviour, or simply respond to it?”

On the evening of the conference the Cards & Payments Europe Awards will be held at a Gala Dinner. These awards will allow the best and brightest within the industry to be recognised and celebrated by their peers. The awards provide an ideal platform for companies to showcase their achievements and reward their most outstanding performers.

Editor’s Note:

About VRL Financial News

For over 20 years, VRL has been delivering a unique series of conferences and events to the financial services market. Sponsored by the major players in the industry, VRL conferences deliver focused and original content, with innovative first-time speakers and provocative sessions, exclusive research and a rich mix of delegates.

With major international conferences on the agenda in 2013, each of which is a red letter date in the diaries of the world’s top financial players, the learning and networking opportunities of joining with VRL are second-to-none. More information available on

A positive outlook for the Finnish cards and payments industry

Growth in online shopping and m-commerce leads Finland’s cards and payments industry forward.  

Despite having one of the smallest populations in the eurozone, Finland is miles ahead of the rest of Europe in terms of card awareness and usage levels. The country has the highest usage of card payments in terms of transactions per person, which is more than that of the UK and the Netherlands, reveals a new report from Timetric. The rise of smartphones and apps combined with lower prices, improved search engines and price comparison sites has resulted in the growth of m-commerce and e-commerce in recent years. E-commerce sales increased from EUR8.85 billion in 2009 to EUR10.4 billion in 2011, and according to a survey conducted by AddValue on behalf of operator DNA in 2013, 60% of Finns own a smartphone, 76% own a laptop and 18% own a tablet. The increasing market for online and mobile commerce, combined with a positive economic outlook have been the main drivers for growth in the Finnish cards and payments industry – an industry that  has been growing marginally in terms of both volume and value since 2008. Finland’s overall card industry rose from 13.7 million cards in 2008 to 15.6 million in 2012 at a CAGR of 3.86%. According to Timetric, this positive trend is set to continue. By 2017 the number of cards is expected to reach 17.1 million. Debit cards has the largest market share with 82.32% in 2012. In terms of transaction volume there was 1.3 billion transactions in 2012. It is anticipated that this number will grow at a CAGR of 0.65% to reach 1.4 billion transactions by 2017.

Contactless payments on the rise

Contactless and NFC payments are also being introduced in Finland. K-Plussa, the largest and most-diverse loyalty program launched a contactless card in February 2012. So far, the card has been used by more than 300,000 K-Plussa customers. Elisa, one of the largest mobile networks in Finland, in association with MasterCard and the student-owned benefit and discount card Lyyra, issued prepaid NFC (near field communication) stickers to students in the third quarter of 2012. These stickers were issued to more than 100,000 students and can be used in college canteens and at other stores where contactless terminals are installed.

Timetric’s report: ‘Emerging Opportunities in Finland’s Cards and Payments industry: Market Size, Trends and Drivers, Strategies, Products and Competitive Landscape’ was published on the 19th April 2013. 

Paying with your phone – a positive outlook for MPOS technology

Paying with our phone could soon be the new reality for shoppers. According to new research from Timetric, things are looking bright for the global mobile-point-of-sale industry (MPOS).

From 2011 – 2012 the number of MPOS terminals registered an annual growth of 111%. This trend is set to continue, as the volume of terminals is expected to increase from 4.5 million in 2011 to 38 million in 2017, at a projected CAGR of 42.7%. The positive market outlook is driven by growth in the retail sector, increased online trade, a rise in smartphone usage and card penetration. Even though traditional POS systems are still far more common – with MPOS terminals owning 17% of the total POS terminal market in 2012 – this number is expected to increase substantially and reach 46% by 2017.

Embracing MPOS technology

MPOS technology has a strong presence in countries such as the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and France fronted by brands such as Square, iZettle, SumUp, Payleven, PayPal Here and Intuit. Many of these are currently running a number of trials and pilot programs in partnership with businesses such as Perry Ellis, Gucci, Saks Fifth Avenue and Aurora Fashions. Restaurants, pubs and hotels such as Horney Goat Brewing Company and The Gaylord Hotels have successfully adopted the technology. Another area which has embraced the technology is transit systems and taxi services. Initially MPOS technology was targeted at small enterprises who could not afford the conventional point of sale (POS) system. However, demands have been driven by new technology benefits such as improved customer service and the ability to process payments at anytime in any location. Moreover, the use of smartphones and tablets as base-devices has enabled developers to expand their market share. The positive growth potential offered by the technology has attracted a number of competitors, and according to the Timetric report, further innovations are expected to take place in the future.

MPOS solutions not free from challenges

The advantages of using MPOS solutions are compelling, yet there are several operational, technical and regulatory challenges. One of them is the reliability of the service. Consumer smartphones and tablets are not yet built with strong security features and paying with these can therefore leave the customer vulnerable to fraudulent activity. Furthermore, processing payments over a volatile wireless network can also prove to be problematic.

Timetric’s report; ‘2020 Foresight: Mobile Point of Sale Technology’ was published on the 17th April 2013.

Notes to the editor:


Mobile-point-of-sale technology (MPOS): MPOS technology brings wireless technology to conventional POS systems. This technology doesn’t change the payment structure, but facilitates transactions to be processed through a mobile terminal which uses the same logic and codes as any fixed POS terminal. Innovations have enabled smartphones and tablets to be modified into mobile POS systems.

Norway introduces visa cards to children

Norwegian banks spot new opportunities in age-based segmentation for credit cards. 

A group of Norwegian banks have discovered new opportunities in the card and payments industry. Driven by a large young generation and high online usage, tapping into the younger generation can be a profitable business.

The young generation in Norway is a considerable and growing target group in terms of card spending. In 2013 25.7% of Norway’s population was between the ages of 10-29 (1.2 million people). Banks in Norway have segmented the country’s young population into various age brackets such as 13 to 17 and 18 to 25, and offer a range of card products to tap into this significant population base.

One of the banks that have used new age-based segmentation is the Norwegian SpareBank 1. This bank offers Visa cards for children under 13 years old. The amount in the account can be controlled by parents; there is no insurance fee; and the card is free to use in stores and at SpareBank’s ATMs. The bank also offers a Visa Electron credit card for the population aged between 13 and 18 years old. This card has zero annual fees and is free to use for retail payments in Norway and abroad.

Norway has the highest number of internet users in Europe today. The growth in number of internet users has been driven by the demands of the country’s growing economy and the younger population. Growth in e-commerce, supported by an increased internet penetration, is expected to increase the use of debit, credit and charge cards for online shopping.

Norway’s overall cards and payments industry has seen nominal growth in recent years, increasing at a CAGR of 3.97%, from 15.34 million cards in 2008 to 17.9 million cards in 2012. According to a new report from Timetric, the industry is forecast to register further growth rising to 19.3 million cards by 2017.

Online Trade Boosts Kuwaiti Card Sector

Despite only moderate growth in Kuwait’s cards and payments industry, the rising popularity of online trade has fuelled expansion of the market.

The global economic crisis has precipitated slow growth in Kuwait’s cards industry between 2008 and 2012, which recorded a CAGR of 3.59%. However, the growing market for online trade in Kuwait is driving growth in the cards sector, along with the growing number of domestic and international tourists that have increased demand for travel cards.

Card Shares

Between 2008 and 2012, prepaid cards occupied the largest share in the overall cards and payments industry, and in volume terms recorded a CAGR of 37.83%. Charge cards grew at a CAGR of 4.02% over the same period, whilst debit cards posted a CAGR of 2.58%.

Between 2013 and 2017, the overall card industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.44%, again driven primarily by the prepaid cards category, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.94%. Over the same period, credit cards are expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.2%, debit cards are expected to record a CAGR of 2.76%, and charge cards a CAGR of 3.59%. In terms of value, the industry is set to grow at a CAGR of 10.91% between 2013 and 2017, rising from LWD17.2 billion (US$61.4 billion) to KWD26 billion (US$93 billion).

M-Commerce & Contactless Payment Suit Thai Cards Industry

New payment technologies and a rise in m-commerce drive growth in Thailand’s cards and payments sector. 

Thailand’s card industry is benefitting from a rise in m-commerce and the increasing prevalence of new payment technology, such as digital wallets and near-field communication (NFC). This uptake of new technology has been a primary driver contributing to Thailand’s card sector growing at a CAGR of 15.77% between 2008 and 2012 – from 51.5 million cards to 92.5 million – and growth is set to continue at a CAGR of 5.96% by 2017.

Technology Drives Growth

The capabilities of smartphone devices, an exponential rise in mobile device apps, and the increasing accessibility of such technology thanks to declining prices have driven a significant rise in m-commerce in Thailand. As of October 2012, there were 24 million internet users in Thailand, and 18 million smartphone users; this prompted Google to choose Thailand as the first country in Southeast Asia to launch its GoMo campaign, which encourages businesses to capitalise on the proliferation of smartphone users.

Additionally, the emergence of near-field communication (NFC) payment technology, EMV cards, and digital wallets have all enhanced the ways in which consumers transact, and have been a key driving factor in the growth of the Thai cards industry.