One of Australia’s major banks says fraud activity is falling but warns businesses should remain vigilant online.
Commonwealth Bank says the number of fraud attacks on its EFTPOS machines in stores and payment systems online are falling, but warns businesses need to remain vigilant of the growing threat of online scam attacks.
Latest data from Australia’s largest bank has found the amount of fraud committed through CBA merchant terminals between April and June, dropped 15 per cent compared to the same period the year before.
The plunge in fraud is in despite of a spike in retail spending across the CBA terminal network during the pandemic, particularly through online payments.
CBA merchant general manager Sam Itzcovitz said businesses and in particular retailers in lead up to Christmas needed to implement greater protection technologies to limit the chance of fraud.
“It’s promising to see fraud rates decline, but we know all businesses are still susceptible to fraud in this increasingly online world,” Mr Itzcovitz said.
“It’s particularly important for small businesses, as they may be unable to easily weather the consequences of fraud, such as data and network recovery costs, fines, and reputational damage.”
CBA said “card not present” transactions, where stolen card details are punched directly into a merchant terminal to buy goods, were one of the most common forms of fraud.
Refund fraud is another frequent tactic, where a criminal claims the merchant overcharged them, requesting a refund and then pocketing the difference.
Online freight scams are also targeting small businesses across Australia.
“These sorts of scams against merchants can be hard to spot, so it’s important merchants take the time to understand how they could potentially be defrauded, and what they should do to reduce that risk,” Mr Itzcovitz said.
CBA said the reduction in fraud activity was in line with recent data from AusPayNet, which fell from $528.8 million in financial year 2019 to $447.2 million financial year 2020.
Online spending across CBA’s card network rose 20 per cent from August to October, driven by larger consumption of household goods such as furniture and appliances.
The same set of data shows online spending across CBA’s retail merchant customers is up 100 per cent compared to the previous corresponding period.
CBA has the largest network of merchant terminals in Australia.