Russian card fraud up - security down

According to the latest figures from Russia, card fraud is on the increase - now reaching 0.7 to 0.9 per cent of all card transactions in the country.

I therefore find it amazing that Visa has announced plans from July 1 to cease the requirement to present a photo ID with one of its cards in Russia for amounts of less than 1,000 roubles - that's about 20 UK quidlets at current exchange rates.

MasterCard, meanwhile, has removed all obligations on retailers to check the ID of the cardholder, no matter how large the purchase.

This is laughable -Ed.

According to Ekaterina Demygina, deputy chairman of the board of Soyuz Bank, card fraud is not found just in Moscow, but across the country as a whole.

Figures released by Gazprombank meanwhile, suggest that 13 per cent of bank card holders in St. Petersburg change their card each year as a direct result of fraud - and the unwillingness of the city's law enforcement officers to counteract card crime.

A survey conducted by Dengi (Money) financial weekly revealed that most of the cases of fraud that banks encounter involve criminals using cards in stores where they do not check the cardholder's ID.

And that's before you even begin to think about using your card on t'Internet in Russia...