Javelin, Visa offer different takes on whether card fraud is moving online

Maria Korolov

"The Javelin study is based on a survey of about 5,000 consumers," he said. "Our data is based on millions of actual transactions. That is a very important distinction."

Javelin defended its numbers.

"We conducted our independent study and are reporting on number of victims of CNP fraud in 2016, in this case," said Pascual. "Our findings are consistent from what we have heard from others in the space, including merchants, issuers, and other networks."

The Visa report also went into more depth about the status of the EMV migration.

As of the end of the year, 39 percent of all merchants and 49 percent of the payment volume was on chip-enabled terminals, said Visa's Ericksen, and counterfeit fraud was down 52 percent at the merchants who made the switch.

The number of chip-enabled Visa cards in circulation nearly doubled over the course of the year, to more than 408 million, and the number of merchants with chip-enabled terminals more than doubled, to 1.8 million.

The EMV migration liability shift date was in the fall of 2015 -- that is when merchants became liable for fraud if they still had the old, magnetic stripe card readers.

But the transition is moving along at a reasonable rate, Ericksen said.

"From what we've seen in other countries around the world, it does take them two to three years after the liability shift date to get to 60 percent of the volume," she said. "This is a migration. It's not a one-time event. Every merchant is going to make the implementation investment decision at a time that makes sense for them."

For example, merchants with high-ticket products, or high fraud rates, made the switch first, she said.

"We have seen some significant adoption in certain key merchant segments," she said. "Electronics stores, home goods stores and department stores, a lot of those were some of the first to go to chip technology, as well as pharmacies and drug stores."

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