Canadians getting savvier, but still worry about fraud

Visa launches new website during Fraud Prevention Month to help protect and educate consumers and merchants

TORONTO, Feb. 23 /CNW/ - Visa, a leading global payments technology company, today released a new survey that reveals that Canadians are conscientious about protecting their payment cards. The survey showed that very few Canadians who use debit or credit cards are engaging in risky behaviour, such as sharing their PIN (14 per cent), sending credit card information by email (11 per cent), or sharing information during a phone call that they did not initiate (5 per cent).

Visa is celebrating Fraud Prevention Month with a new website, www.visasecuritysense.ca, that provides cardholders and small businesses with helpful information and tips on how to protect payment card account information, avoid payment card scams and learn how to resolve unauthorized use of their cards.

"Canadians are becoming quite savvy with their payment cards and it's paying off - credit card fraud rates are at historic lows," said Gord Jamieson, Head of Payment System Risk, Visa Canada.

Even though Canadians are protecting themselves better and fraud rates are low, respondents still have very different ideas about where it is safe to use their payment cards.  While almost all Canadians believe it is safe to use a payment card in a retail outlet (94 per cent), confidence levels are significantly lower for card-not-present transactions: online (63 per cent), by mail (52 per cent) and by phone (49 per cent). When asked why they haven't shopped online, 38 per cent of respondents that were non-online shoppers cited security concerns as the main reason.

Visa's approach to fraud prevention is based on the belief that the only effective way to fight fraud is to employ multiple layers of security.  While Visa continually develops new technologies and solutions to help combat fraud, including Chip and PIN, Zero Liability and Verified by Visa, informed and alert consumers are the frontline of defense against payment card fraud and data breaches.

It's important for cardholders to understand how many layers of protection are built into their cards, so they can feel safe using their Visa card in stores, online, over the phone and by mail," added Jamieson.

In addition to launching www.visasecuritysense.ca during Fraud Prevention Month, Visa Canada is sponsoring and participating in the Competition Bureau's Fraud Prevention Forum "Preventing Fraud in a Digital Age' in Ottawa on March 7-8, 2011.  Visa Canada will also be hosting a Merchant Education Forum on March 9, 2011 in Toronto. 

About the Survey   

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between February 7 and 9, 2011, on behalf of Visa Canada. For this survey, a sample of 1,419 adults from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online as part a regular online omnibus poll. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-2.6 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Canada been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.

SOURCE VISA Canada Corporation

For further information:

Carla Hindman, Visa Canada, 416-860-8869, chindman@visa.com

Dan Madge, Fleishman-Hillard, 416-645-8188, daniel.madge@fleishman.ca

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VISA Canada Corporation

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