Rates of bankcard fraud in Estonia among lowest in Europe

Altogether 10,500 acts of fraud, involving 1.1 mln euros, were committed using bankcards issued by Estonian banks during 2016. The total number of transactions executed using an Estonian bankcard during the same year was 328 mln and the value of such transactions amounted to 11.1 bln euros.

The ratio of bankcard fraud cases to the number of payments executed was seven times lower in Estonia than the EU average.

“Estonia clearly stands apart from other European countries in that simultaneously with active use of bankcards by residents, the ratio of card fraud cases is comparable with countries where the numbers of transactions are small, such as Hungary, Lithuania and Poland. Alongside Estonia, also Holland stands out for active use of cards and a low rate of card fraud,” Airi Uiboaid, specialist at the payment and settlement systems department of the central bank, said.

Where fraud cases involving Estonian bankcards number eight per 1,000 residents, the average number for all countries of Europe is 33. Fraud ratios were the highest in the U.K. and France, where respectively 98 and 81 per 1,000 residents experienced bankcard fraud.

The most frequent bankcard fraud cases have to do with fraud on the internet, and Estonia does not stand very much apart from Europe in that regard. Uiboaed said that the downside to being able to make purchases online in the comfort of one’s home is that data concerning the bankcards of an ever increasing number of people is present on the internet.

Of the fraud cases committed with bankcards issued by Estonian banks 76% were committed on the internet, 18% using a payment terminal and only 6% using an automated teller machine. Fraudulent transactions worth 710,000 euros were conducted on the internet in 2016, damage caused by fraud committed at payment terminals totaled 350,000 euros, while damage caused by fraud at ATMs totaled roughly 70,000 euros.

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