Özinal was speaking at a press conference on Thursday where he stressed that if the password system had not been launched, the annual loss due to fraud would likely have risen to $100 million from $30 million, instead of declining to $13 million. The figures are similar for the UK, where recorded credit card fraud was around 504 million pounds in 2004 but declined to 428 million pounds after implementation of the password system. It is estimated that if the system had not been launched, this figure would have exceeded 800 million pounds.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Kasım 2007, 19:10
The Turkish banking system had entered a new phase in credit card security in March 2006 with an initiative led by the BKM to institute in Turkey the Chip&Pin password system already in use in the UK and France to prevent credit card fraud and online theft. This was "a hard transformation process," remarked Özinal.
An awareness campaign was first launched, with television and newspaper ads explaining the necessity of password usage, how such systems work and the importance of privacy. The mass-advertising campaign lasted until June 2007. It cost a total of $650 million, according to Özinal, to transition 98 percent of the 36 million credit cards in circulation at the time to the password system. As of September 2007, 100 percent of point-of-sale (POS) devices and 85 percent of automated teller machines (ATM) had been adapted to the new Chip&Pin system, without reflecting any cost to consumers. One of the side benefits of this change for Turkey was that many software companies which gained experience during the transformation period began to take new orders from Italy, France and England.
Password protection for credit cards via the Chip&Pin system to prevent fraud has exceeded expectations as software engineers prepare more developed security systems. In coming years, systems that are more complex and secure, such as retina-scanning and fingerprint-scanning systems, will be used in credit card security along with the usual password system.
Özinal emphasized Turkey will, along with the UK and France, be among the leaders in new biometrics security systems. In the future, additional security measures are expected to include retina and fingerprint scans; however, Özinal says, such advancements are about 10 years ahead.
Credit card fraud moving to America
Many European countries are closely monitoring the implementation of password-protected credit card systems, with Spain, Italy, Serbia already requesting information about the system. "We are receiving offers of collaboration, as we implement the system in a short period of time with no problems," Özinal said, adding that it was a point of pride for the BKM.
However, Özinal pointed out that con artists who are unable to pull credit card scams because of the password system have begun to migrate to other countries, including the US, Canada, Romania and Bulgaria. He said countries that install the password system also improve international banking standards. "For example, if a Turkish customer is faced with credit card fraud in a country that does not have a password system, the customer is taken at their word," Özinal said.