Changing Fraud Landscape Leads to New Partners

By Debbie Grant, Senior Policy Lead • Visa Europe

And Piet Lakeman, Senior Policy Lead • Visa Europe

April 25, 2016

Visa Europe has always had a strong relationship with traditional law enforcement agencies. Today, we are now exploring broader ways to engage with not only other public authorities but also with the private sector. All with the aim of helping everyone become more effective when dealing with criminals targeting Visa products.

Such new partnerships are needed as the fraud landscape has changed over the years. This is due to a large increase of data compromises over the years, an increase of card-not-present fraud and, in particular, the increasingly global nature of fraud. As such, we are expanding our network of interested and influential stakeholders and strengthening collaboration with more of those authorities who can help to protect the Visa payment system.

Our aim is to maximise our chances of limiting fraud; thereby minimising reputational risk. However our targets are not just about reputational risk and fraud levels in the payment system. While these may be the more visible side of fraud, there is another aspect that most people don’t realise. It is the organised crime, human trafficking and terrorist financing that is financed by fraud. It all impacts our society. We see it as Visa Europe’s duty to ensure that we play our part in disrupting such criminal activity.

One of the newer partnership areas we focus on is the regulatory environment and its associated legislation. Our new task is to ensure that the legal and regulatory frameworks relating to electronic payments are developed in line with current payment systems and practices. That’s why we engage across the spectrum: from local government through regulatory bodies, to the European Institutions Our focus is not solely on the regulators. We also engage with law enforcement agencies and the judiciary in more complicated cross border investigations. We often provide bespoke training to help improve the knowledge of their officers.

We have also intensified the support we give to particular key law enforcement agencies, such as Europol. This has focused in close cooperation with the airline industry, our Members, and other organisations such as Interpol and Ameripol on the fight against airline fraud. In 2013, with it we started the Airline Day of Action initiative. So far it has led to over 500 people being arrested between June 2013-November 2015. Some of those arrested were also wanted on European arrest warrants related to human trafficking, child exploitation and various other criminal activities.

Besides our operational support of Europol we also provide input to its Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA). The annual assessment informs decision-makers at strategic, policy and tactical levels to fight cybercrime more effectively. IOCTA is also intended to set priorities in the Operational Action Plans for Europol and its Member States after 2017. It’s our aim to keep fighting payment fraud a priority for law enforcement.

We are strong believers in such public and private cooperation. Its effectiveness clearly demonstrated through the successes of the work with Europol, the airline industry and our own members. Our eventual goal is to move the fight against fraud on from days of action. and make it much more of a business-as-usual activity.

The global nature of the fraud landscape and its rapid change makes it more and more difficult for commercial entities and law enforcement to remain effective at fighting fraud. We are bringing relevant stakeholders together, establishing the agenda and proactively setting the pace. We hope it drives more collaborative working.. By linking such national networks with counterparts in other countries we want to make sure that both public and private investigators, know who to contact and what they can expect from each other. Avoiding wasted resources of all Private and public sector know who to contact and what they can expect from each other thus avoiding wasted resources.

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