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Singapore’s Police Force partners with Mastercard to implement new fraud-fighting device

Earlier this month, at the World Cities Summit 2018, The Police Force of Singapore announced that it would be partnering with Mastercard to implement new fraud-fighting devices that aim to tackle card crime.

The partnership will see the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force collaborate with Mastercard to combat fraud. This will be done by implementing the Mastercard Forensic Reader (MFR) – the world’s first device that aims help law enforcement agencies detect payment card fraud with greater speed, accuracy, and efficiency.

Resembling an in-store point-of-sale terminal, the MFR aims to improve the effectiveness, timeliness, and accuracy in investigating payment card fraud of Mastercard and other payment cards. In the past, such investigations required protracted processes involving multiple parties such as investigation agencies, payment solution companies, and card issuers.

The introduction of the MFR will enable law enforcement agencies to quickly process seized fraudulent cards and verify with the relevant card issuer if the card is a suspected counterfeit in a matter of seconds.

Ian Wong, Deputy Director, Financial Investigation, Commercial Affairs Department, said that the CAD and Mastercard have been working very closely together to fight payment card fraud since the 1980s. In addition to providing assistance in the day-to-day investigations, Mastercard has also partnered CAD and other organizations in efforts to prevent payment card fraud. He added that Mastercard has donated 10 pieces of Mastercard Forensic Reader and these will enhance CAD’s ability to conduct more thorough an efficient investigations into payment card fraud and related offences.

Commenting on the new technology, Derek Pak, Regional Head, Customer Fraud Management, Asia Pacific, Mastercard, said that in the current era, criminals are constantly thinking of new ways to bypass security systems. Thus, industry-wide collaboration has never been of greater importance when staying one step ahead of the game.

Mr Pak also stated that the Mastercard Forensic Reader is a practical example of the efficient use of expertise and resources to enable the innovation and development of novel ways to fight fraud by partnering with like-minded organizations such as local law enforcement agencies to implement this on-ground.

“It is the combined force of the industry that will allow us to effectively combat card fraud, with the common goal of safeguarding cardholders’ private information,” he added.

Originally piloted in 2015, law enforcement agencies in Macau and Taiwan were among the first to adopt the MFR in the Asian Pacific region.

Key features of the MFR include:

i.   Greater speed: Fraud investigations require immediate coordination across organizations. The MFR enables law enforcement agencies to instantly contact the issuing bank to determine if the card is authentic or counterfeit within seconds.

ii.  Greater flexibility: The reader is designed to be able to read the chip, magnetic stripe or contactless cards.

iii. Data security: The MFR meets industry standards and does not store any card information.

iv. Increased efficiency: The MFR provides simple reporting of large volumes of data in multiple formats including screen display, paper or digital.

The MFR’s development is in line with the company’s commitment to delivering the highest levels of security in the most convenient ways to pay. With innovative solutions including the recently launched Decision Intelligence and Identity Check Mobile in place, cardholders, retailers and card issuers can have the peace of mind when using, accepting and issuing Mastercard payment products.

This collaboration is keeping in with The Police Force’s mandate which is to prevent, deter and detect crime. It is dedicated to being a force for the nation – to make Singapore the safest place in the world and hopes to do this by investing in the latest technologies including this device by Mastercard.

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