Why the check is really not a safe method of payment

Digital transformation is everywhere, but not in payment fraud, where crooks always work in the old-fashioned way. According to the latest report of the Observatory of the security of means of payment , the payment card remains at the top of the frauds by means of payment, but if the checks are made more and more rare, they are in second place. But above all, they account for 40% of the total amount of fraud by being only in 4th place means of payment.

The use of this means of payment continues to decline in number of transactions (-10%) and amount (-7%). But fraud is progressing with the use of lost or stolen checks or falsification. The average amount of each fraud reaches 8100 euros. In 2017, it increased by 9% to reach 296 million euros against 272 million in 2016.

Bank fraud

To relativize, this represents a rate of 0.0286%, or one euro for 3500 euros. In France, the use of the check remains a European peculiarity. Despite its decline, it still accounts for 11.3% of volume payments. Just after Malta (21.6%) and before Cyprus (8.1%), according to the ECB (European Central Bank).

Dematerialized payments scare away fraudsters

The credit card remains far ahead even if, as the report indicates, the “global fraud card issued in France decreases in 2017 for the second year in a row.” The fraud rate on card transactions is 0.054%, about one euro of fraud for 1850 euros of transactions.

Check fraud

For the Banque de France, these increases are based on the systems put in place to protect dematerialized means of payment. Fraudsters prefer to attack those who remain the most vulnerable and in this area, the check is in the lead. Fraud transfers have indeed decreased by 17% to 0.0003%, the equivalent of one euro of fraud for 300,000 euros of payment. As for the levies, the fall between 2016 and 2017 is estimated at -78%.

Overall, fraud fell by -6.8% to € 744 million, 54 million euros less than in 2016. “We had never seen such a sharp decline”. rejoices François Villeroy de Galhau, governor of the Banque de France while keeping an eye on cryptocurrency in general and bitcoin in particular. For him, “those who invest in this crypto-asset do it at their own risk.”


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