Following worldwide public and institutional concern about credit card fraud, the globe’s dominant duo, MasterCard and Visa, have moved at last to combat the increasing torrent of swindles.

From April 2001, vendors will require cardholders to give far more security information - such as their addresses and post/zip codes – when placing orders on the phone, internet or by mail. Consumers will also be asked to quote a new three-digit identifier printed on the card’s signature strip whenever they are not physically present at a purchase.

The new measures come in the wake of an exponential increase in card fraud. In 1999, Mastercard reported global card fraud of $703m, up a third on the preceding year, while Visa was beset by debit/credit card fraud of $1.2bn, an increase of almost 28% per cent on 1998. In the UK, card fraud soared last year to £189m ($280m).

News source: Financial Times