According to APACS, the UK's payment card association, the UK is a global hotspot for card fraud. And now we learn that MasterCard has quietly started a pilot program that allows retailers to view the hidden image stored on almost all MasterCard debit and credit cards in the world.
Problem is, the pilot is in Singapore.
The hidden image is, of course, a top secret feature - one of many, we are told - designed to protect the integrity of MasterCard cards.
The hidden image is apparently stored on the MasterCard hologram seen on MC cards the world over.
The pilot reader program is being conducted at Best Deski outlets across Singapore, in conjunction with OCBC Bank.
The reader works by focusing a beam onto a specific part of the MasterCard hologram, revealing the hidden image.
According to AsiaPac newswire reports, staff insert the MasterCard card provided by the cardholder into the reader, and ensure that the appropriate image appears.
As usual, the UK lags behind in this kind of technology, despite the fact that UK is a hotbed for card fraud.
And guess who ends up paying for all the fraud.
That's right - not the banks - us cardholders...