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
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
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
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
“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
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.