Magnetic strip cards are a particular target for opportunistic thieves. If stolen, they’re difficult to block. But organised fraudsters have taken it a step further, enlisting cashiers to ‘skim’ cards under the counter before returning them to the customer.
Card details are then cloned, and sold on as prepaid fuel cards, which can run up huge costs before discovery.
Card crime prevention is behind the timesThe nationwide switch to Chip and PIN happened almost ten years ago. But the fuel card market has yet to catch up. We know Chip and PIN works – since its introduction, face-to-face card fraud has plummeted 72% (PDF 2136KB) compared to its peak in 2004.
Yet fleets are still relying on older, less secure card technology to buy billions of pounds worth of fuel every year. Which means fuel cards are a magnet for crime.
Cons can be hard to detectYou’d think it would be easy to spot card misuse. But in fact it can take close analysis to see it – a level of audit most fuel cards lack.
Similarly, it’s not easy to spot low-level scams, like adding personal mileage onto business trips, or claiming the wrong pence-per-mile rates. There’s a perception that such small-scale frauds aren’t worth the trouble of tackling. But actually, they cost businesses hundreds of millions of pounds a year – far more than other, more blatant forms of theft. It takes a sophisticated mileage audit system to spot them, so they can go unnoticed for years.
Stronger security from Chip and PINThese days, it’s extremely unusual to see any kind of payment card that isn’t Chip and PIN, particularly in the UK. As one of the first countries to put the system in place, the UK now has very few payment systems that rely only on magnetic strips. Which makes those that do more visible – and therefore more vulnerable.
Combining a microchip that helps ensure the card is genuine, and a personalised identification system, modern card schemes prevent almost all misuse by third parties. Chip cards are easier to monitor, and can be blocked as soon as anything unusual happens. And because the cards are not usually handed to third parties, it’s far harder to clone them.
Account activity can be monitored 24/7. Transactions can be checked and accepted, questioned or declined in real time. Which means cards can also be blocked or cancelled the moment a problem is flagged. It’s even possible to limit the outlets cards can be used in – like filling stations2.
Confidence, control and cover from Barclaycard Fuel+As a Chip and PIN card, Barclaycard Fuel+1, developed with the Miles Consultancy, delivers all these features. It’s also designed to give you complete control and peace of mind through our award-winning Mileage Capture and Audit system, which allows accurate monitoring of mileage claims. Cardholder Misuse Indemnity cover protects you up to £15,000 per cardholder - and up to £1m each year for the whole business (subject to indemnity terms).3
Find out more about Barclaycard Fuel+
1 Please note that, at present, Fuel+ is available only to organisations with a business fuel spend of more than £100,000 p.a.
2 Please note that a few small fuel retailers with a shop may be classified by their Visa processing bank as a supermarket or convenience store and your card may therefore be declined. Only an outlet classified as a fuel retailer will accept your card.
3 Please note that the Cardholder Misuse Indemnity does not cover shared use cards.