Banks and credit unions are outperforming retailers in the war against credit card fraud, according to a new survey from Javelin Strategy & Research.
Retail giant Target, which suffered a massive security breach at the end of 2013, was near the bottom of the heap in Javelin's ninth annual survey of 24 major credit card issuers. The company received an overall score of 50% out of 100% for its ability to detect, prevent and resolve credit card fraud. Retailers Nordstrom and Cablea's WFB also received low-ranking scores of 50% and 46%, respectively.
"Retailers, common targets for data-breach crimes, scored lowest in prevention and among the lowest overall," Javelin industry analyst Al Pascual said in a press release Wednesday. "The three retailer issuers reviewed placed lowest in prevention Cabela's WFB (29%), Target (22%), and Nordstrom (18%) indicating inattention to factors that could help to lower these issuers' overall incidence of card-associated fraud."
Financial institutions' anti-fraud measures fared better in the survey. Bank of America (70%) received the top ranking for the seventh consecutive year. USAA held onto the No. 2 slot for a second year with a score of 66%. Citigroup (63%) climbed to third place after ranking 11th in 2012. Wells Fargo (62%) and Associated Banc-Corp (59%) rounded out the top five scorers.
Credit card companies Discover Financial Services (54%), American Express (53%) and Capital One Financial (52%) were in the lower half of the rankings.
Javelin recommended a number of steps that all credit card issuers can take to reduce identity theft. Issuers should empower customers to prevent fraud by allowing them to opt into alerts for all card-not-present transactions, according to the company. Customers should also be allowed to mark certain kinds of transactions as ones that should automatically be declined, Javelin said.
Issuers can speed up fraud resolution by requiring customer service representatives to make follow-up calls within a 48-hour time period, according to the report. They can also reduce fraud by using voice biometrics and call-analysis technology to authenticate cardholders rather than Social Security numbers, which are often vulnerable to security breaches.
Javelin's Credit Card Issuers' Identity Safety Scorecard evaluated the 24 credit card issuers between October and November 2013.