Consumers are protected from fraudulent credit card transactions

In her [March 14] column “Credit card companies need to clarify what is, and isn’t covered”, [Nanaimo-Cowichan] Member of Parliament Jean Crowder calls on credit card companies to be clear about what is and is not covered when a bank customer is the victim of credit card fraud. Allow us to do so.

Consumers using bank-issued credit cards are protected from all fraudulent transactions and are not liable for any losses resulting from circumstances beyond their control.

This is clearly outlined in the zero-liability commitments from American Express, MasterCard and Visa and covers purchases that are made in a store, by mail, phone, or online unless the customer has contributed to the fraud.

The banks’ federal regulator, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, oversees the banks’ compliance with this public commitment.

It is also completely incorrect to say that financial institutions routinely refuse to cover fraud or will only do so after the card is reported lost or stolen. The zero-liability policies cover all fraudulent transactions.

Banks have introduced the latest chip and PIN technology making it exceedingly difficult for criminals to commit fraud.

For online payments, fraud is reduced by the use of security layers that rely on address verification, three-digit security codes on the back of the card, and other authorization processes.

There are also simple steps that customers can take to protect themselves on our website at Banks work hard to meet the needs of their customers and promote confidence in the safety, security and reliability of the credit cards they use.

This principle extends to protecting customers from fraud and ensuring they are not held liable for transactions that are the result of fraud.

Robin Walsh

Vice President, Strategy and Communications Canadian Bankers Association