MADISON, Wis.- About 40 officials from card processors and credit union leagues gathered at CUNA Mutual Group’s headquarters over Oct. 17-18 to discuss how to improve card security in the wake of the spate of card security breaches this year. “The goal of the event was to bring together the expertise of different stakeholders – processors, leagues, and fraud specialists – who all have an interest in reducing plastic card fraud,” said Marc Krasnick, CUNA Mutual senior vice president, Credit Union Protection. “By forming alliances, we all have a better chance of achieving faster, more effective solutions.” Krasnick said plastic card fraud losses have reached unprecedented levels affecting processors and card-issuing credit unions. It also has had a major impact on CUNA Mutual, which projects 2005 plastic card claims will double those of each of the past six years. “Unless we get a handle on this situation, it could ultimately affect the ability of credit unions to continue providing plastic cards to their members,” Krasnick said. CUNA Mutual took on the issue after this year’s wave of incidents that saw credit unions across the country spend millions of dollars on closing accounts and reissuing cards or on recovering actual card losses from theft. Tim Kaliban, a vice president for Certegy said the losses meant that the processors can not simply wait for credit unions to approach with questions but instead must go out with answers to meet the credit unions before they come to ask. “It’s easy as service providers to listen to clients and respond to what they ask, but the increase in fraud has been so drastic, we can’t wait for clients to come to us and ask for help. “A client shouldn’t get stung before we offer to help. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, and it’s good that CUNA Mutual is driving this effort,” Kaliban said. Stephanie Cook, vice president, fraud services with Metavante Corporation, said the summit gave her a better understanding of the need to educate credit unions about fraud so they can remain a viable part of the plastic card industry. “Any time you get this many people together that share the same passion for fraud prevention, only good things can happen,” she said.

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