Mastercard equips banks with predictive tools to stop card fraud

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Mastercard has unveiled new tools which it says will help its customers spot potential credit card fraud before it happens.

The firm has launched a new Early Detection System which it says can spot accounts or cards that may have been exposed in data breaches or other security incidents.

The system brings together a number of predictive analytic tools, including knowledge from Mastercard's own network insights, to determine whether a card or account is at risk. An alert is then sent to the bank holding the account, explaining the level of risk, which allows the bank to decide what action to take and how to prioritise the risk, for example, monitoring transactions more closely to proactively issuing a replacement card.

Mastercard claims that it can now take as little as nine minutes for stolen card and account data to be used via the dark web, with breaches such as the recent Equifax disaster raising consumer awareness around such attacks, and forcing companies to take extra steps to secure their customers.

The firm says that a typical breach affects around 3-5 per cent of cards, but its new tool can helps banks pinpoint the right cards to protect, saving them time and money.

Mastercard says that its new system is able to capture all types of fraud across all transaction channels. This covers incidents from active criminal trading of account data, to identification of cards being tested prior to being used for fraud, to account data that appears at-risk but without sufficient evidence to declare an Account Data Compromise event. Going forward, Mastercard now hopes to be able to provide issuers with alerts on a much broader set of at-risk accounts at least 6 to 18 months ahead of traditional alerts. 

“Knowledge is power, and this service helps banks act significantly faster and with greater precision to stop potential fraud before it occurs,” said Ajay Bhalla, president of enterprise risk and security at Mastercard. “Our card issuers can now proactively target the fraudulent activity resulting from previously breached or hacked data, helping them reduce costs and maintain the best possible cardholder experience.” 

The Early Detection System is available now to all Mastercard issuers globally.