< Back to news 03 January, 2009

Don’t be Hospitable to Card Fraud Urges Trade Group

Hundreds of independent businesses in the UK’s hospitality trade are being urged to protect themselves from credit card fraudsters
According to a new survey carried out by Beacon, the UK’s largest purchasing group for the independent hospitality trade including restaurants, pubs, bars and hotels, only three quarters of its members have so far signed up to Chip and PIN technology, which is aimed at combating the problem of credit and debit card fraud.

Karen Packham, Director of Beacon, said: “We’re encouraging those businesses that have not already done so to give the installation of Chip and PIN at their business premises very serious consideration. All retailers are now in a situation where, if no Chip and PIN acceptance device is installed and such a device could have prevented a fraud from occurring, then the retailer may have to bear the cost associated with the illegal transaction.”

Since the start of this year, responsibility for fraud has moved from the banks to those outlets that have not yet upgraded to the Chip and PIN system, through which customers use a four digit number to confirm a credit or debit card payment for goods or services, rather than a signature.

Although 77 per cent of our members have already installed the software to enable Chip and PIN payments, a worrying 23 per cent could be leaving themselves wide open to card criminals who will target the weakest links,” explained Karen Packham.

More than 70 per cent of the members taking part in the Beacon survey said they understood the implications of not having Chip and PIN installed and the majority of members (54%) do believe it will help to reduce card fraud.

A spokesperson for Chip and PIN said: “We too would encourage businesses in the hospitality industry to look seriously at having the Chip and PIN system installed to protect themselves. Card fraud has increased dramatically over the last few years fueled by high levels of organised card crime alongside increases in the number and usage of payment cards.

“Much of the money obtained from card fraud is also used to fund other serious crime such as drug trafficking, illegal immigration and counterfeit goods. “

Card Fraud Facts*:

·One in three people in the UK have been affected by card fraud
·£504.8 million was lost through plastic card fraud in 2004
·Over £1.4 million worth of card fraud occurs on UK cards every day. A fraudulent transaction takes place every 7 seconds
·Counterfeit card fraud accounted for almost £129.7 million of this total and lost and stolen fraud accounted for over £114 million of the total losses in 2004
·In 2003 the average loss per fraudulent card/case was £696. The average value of a fraudulent transaction was £117
·If chip and PIN was not put into action, forecasts indicate that UK losses would be in the region of £1 billion by the end of the decade.
*Figures from www.chipandpin.co.uk

Beacon members can access competitive discounted rates for card processing and rental of chip and PIN enabled terminals, through Barclaycard Business, one of Beacon`s nominated suppliers.