Report: U.S. accounts for 48% of card fraud in world

A chip credit card
A chip credit card Associated Press

Worldwide fraud against credit, debit and service cards topped $16 billion last year, with the U.S. leading the way, according to a new report released by a payments industry trade publication.

A story this week in the August issue of the Nilson Report said that cards generated about $28.8 trillion in 2014, up 14 percent from 2013, though about $16.3 billion was lost to fraudulent transactions. The report stated that the losses incurred by card issuers, merchants and acquirers rose 19 percent in 2014 over the previous year.

The U.S. accounted for 48.2 percent of total card fraud worldwide in 2014, according to the findings, while only generating 21.4 percent of total global purchase and cash volume.

The global losses occurred mainly from counterfeiting, card-not-present transactions, fraudulent applications and lost and stolen cards, according to the report. Of the billions in losses last year, card issuers took the hit on 62 percent of the estimated total, while merchants accounted for the remaining 38 percent.

Gross fraud losses for all cards worldwide accounted for about 5.6 cents out of every $100 in total generated volume, according to the report, though card fraud losses in the U.S. far exceeded other areas of the world as its losses represented 12.6 cents out of every $100 in volume.

The report cited a lack of EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) payment infrastructure in the U.S. as the biggest reason for the higher percentage of fraud.

Reach Bryan Horwath at 316-269-6708 or Follow him on Twitter: @bryan_horwath.