CONSUMERS URGED TO SHOP SAFELY ONLINE THIS CHRISTMAS - Online shoppers set to spend 15 per cent more this December than last¹ - Number of cards registered for Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode up 100% to more than 53 million - Be Card Smart Online campaign builds on successful awareness-raising initiative launched last autumn To mark the first anniversary of the card industry’s Be Card Smart Online initiative, The UK Cards Association is again running its online safety campaign – helping to remind consumers of the steps they can take to minimise their chances of being a victim of card fraud online. More than 32 million of us now shop online, so it is more important than ever that everyone plays their part in the fight against fraud. Encouragingly, cardholders seem to be heeding the messages from last year’s campaign. Over 53 million credit and debit cards have now been registered with MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa – online payment systems that make cards more secure when shopping on the internet. This is an increase of 112 per cent on the 25 million cards that had been registered this time last year. There has also been a significant increase in the number of retailers using these systems – those that have currently handle more than half of the value of all the UK’s online shopping. This increase in card registrations is matched by the continuing popularity of internet shopping. In recent months there has been a 15 per cent year-on-year growth in online spending, and the indications are that this increase is expected to continue into December¹. To help stay safe whilst online, consumers are urged to follow the simple advice below: 1 Keep your PC protected by ensuring you have the latest operating system, browser and upto-date anti-virus software. 2 Look for the padlock symbol - especially if you’re buying from a website for the first time. It’s a good indication that they are reputable. 3 Register your cards with Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode when prompted. It is quick and easy and makes shopping online even safer. 4 Always log out after shopping online and save the confirmation e-mail as a record of your order. ¹ source: Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) The UK’s banking and retail industries are backing the Be Card Smart Online campaign. Katy Worobec, Head of Fraud Control for The UK Cards Association, says: “More of us than ever before will be doing our Christmas shopping online this year, and there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t be doing so in complete confidence. Following the simple advice in our Be Card Smart Online campaign will help minimise the chances of cardholders becoming a victim of online fraud. We have recently seen the first ever fall in card fraud over the internet and, hopefully, this latest campaign will help even more of us stay free from fraud.” The Be Card Smart Online campaign features a series of advertisements appearing in online banners at selected shopping websites during the Christmas shopping period. Consumers can learn more about how to stay safe online by visiting www.becardsmart.org.uk. For further information contact the press office on 020 7711 6251 or visit www.becardsmart.org.uk. Note to editors: 1 The UK Cards Association is the leading trade association for the cards industry in the UK. With a membership that includes all major credit, debit and charge card issuers, and card acquiring banks, the role of the Association is both to unify and represent the UK card payments industry. It is responsible for formulating and implementing policy on non-competitive aspects of card payments including codes of practice, fraud prevention, major infrastructural changes, development of standards and other matters where cross-industry benefits are identified. The UK Cards Association was formed in April 2009 as the successor body to the APACS Card Payments Group. 2 More information about The UK Cards Association is available at www.theukcardsassociation.org.uk. 3 Card fraud losses on phone, internet and mail order transactions totalled £134.0 million during January to June 2009, a fall of 18% from the £163.9 million total during the same time period last year. This is the first ever fall in this type of card fraud. 4 Cardholders can sign up to Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode at the website of the bank or card company that issues their card, or when they are shopping online at participating merchants. 5 Financial Fraud Action UK is the name under which the financial services industry co-ordinates its activity on fraud prevention, presenting a united front against financial fraud and its effects. It was launched on 6 July to replace the work carried out by APACS and is now the payments industry voice on fraud. Financial Fraud Action UK (www.financialfraudaction.org.uk) works in partnership with The UK Cards Association on industry initiatives to prevent fraud on credit and debit cards.