Shocking number of South Africans have experienced card fraud

According to the latest ACI Universal payments card fraud report, one in three South Africans have experienced card fraud in the past year.

The report conducted online quantitative market research and surveyed over 6,035 consumers from more than 20 different countries.

It found that the highest amount of fraud took place on credit cards in 2016 (28%), followed by debit cards (19%), and prepaid cards (4%).

Despite the high levels of fraud, a large portion of South Africans (45%) indicated that they were happy with the way that their banks dealt with the crimes, with only 16% and 14% stating that they were “somewhat unhappy” or “very unhappy”.

This was confirmed by a separate consumer trust and security report released by ACI, which found that 59% trusted their card information with multi-national banks – more than community banks (17%), retailers (11%) and government (9%) combined.

Risky behaviour

According to the report, consumers in the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) are taught to ignore emails and calls requesting details about their bank accounts, although
consumers in the UAE and South Africa respond to these scammers more frequently.

South African consumers were also some of the biggest offenders when it came to other risky behaviours:

  • 28% of respondents indicated that they did not lock their phone when they were not using it.
  • 26% of respondents said that they had thrown papers or documents with account numbers (e.g. bank statements) in the trash bin.
  • 18% of respondents said they had used online banking or internet shopping without security software or on a public computer.
  • 10% of respondents said that made a note of their pin number and carried it with their card.
  • 5% responded to calls or emails asking for banking details.

“In every country there are higher incidences of fraud when consumers participate in risky behavior,” said ACI.

“The magnitude of difference between risky and non-risky consumers is quite substantial, and changing those behaviors can have a real impact on fraud.”


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