DES MOINES, Iowa. (11/26/13)--A new white paper from payments processor The Members Group (TMG) offers credit unions tips on providing the best possible shopping experience for cardholders while also monitoring for card fraud during the holiday spending season.
Written for community financial institution (FI) leaders, the paper is the first in a series of four fraud-prevention white papers TMG will issue.
The first white paper, "Fraud Protection is a Must Have this Holiday Season," offers these strategies to help credit unions protect their members from holiday fraud:
- Start simple. Update and upgrade lines of communication. Assign staff or work with vendors to make sure cardholder contact information is current. Cardholders are likely to be away from home during the holidays. Have their e-mails and mobile numbers on file.
- Lock it back down. It's not uncommon for issuers to increase daily purchase limits or the number of transactions allowed in a 24-hour cycle in advance of the holidays. When developing these strategies, be sure to define a timeline and include the date when limits and restrictions will return to normal. Follow up to verify these restrictions are back in place on the intended date.
- Stay informed. Fraudsters know speed is the name of the game. Keeping up on fraud trends makes red flags easier to spot. Credit unions should communicate with their processors and monitor the schemes in their area.
- Don't drop your guard. Just as retailers and business leaders are encouraging consumers to "shop local," fraudsters, too, are working closer to home. Because geo-targeted fraud detection software works, fraudsters have become wise to it and are more often committing more crimes in victims' cities. This helps the criminals stay under the radar for longer. Credit unions should ensure their detection strategies account for this new trend and use a combination of technology and human analysts.
- Educate cardholders. No one wants to talk about crime during the holiday cheer. Yet, cardholder awareness continues to be one of the most impactful tools against major fraud losses, TMG said. Communicate in advance and throughout the holiday season about what criminals are up to. Credit unions should use their websites, blogs and social networks.
- Keep the holiday spirit alive. The holidays are joyous, yet busy. Keeping the holiday spirit alive among credit union team members is an important component to providing top-notch service to cardholders. The better prepared the credit union is for confronting holiday fraudsters now, the smaller the chances of a not-so-welcome holiday surprise, TMG said.
To download the white paper, use the link.