Protect cardmembers from fraud threats in the new normal

Protect cardmembers from fraud threats in the new normal

Navigate cybersecurity with an effective and comprehensive security plan.

May 10, 2021

With the transition from in-person to online activities, new opportunities exist for cybercriminals. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received more than 1.3 million fraud reports between the first and third quarters of 2020, resulting in total losses of over $1.5 billion.

Credit unions should navigate cybersecurity in the “new normal” with an effective and comprehensive security plan to protect their own and cardmembers’ data.

New and evolving threats

Cybercriminals are always evolving their methods and looking for new vulnerabilities to exploit. Given the rapidly changing world we live in, coupled with the consumer behavior changes brought about by the pandemic, cybercriminals have identified new ways to attack:

  • Sophisticated attacks display expected browser or application behavior to emulate human activity. In the first half of 2020, 96% of attacks on financial institutions were sophisticated in nature.
  • Identity theft happens when cybercriminals use verified data (sometimes obtained illegally) to create an account that falsely identifies them as a real customer. They can then open accounts and apply for cards. Credit card fraud was the most common type of ID theft in the second quarter of 2020.
  • Phishing—the sending of seemingly legitimate emails to mislead consumers into giving up sensitive information, like login credentials and credit card information—has been on the rise. Attackers are using the coronavirus (COVID-19) and stimulus payments as bait.

Credit card losses

Credit cards and cardmember information are key targets for cybercriminals. Criminals have impersonated the government and other organizations to gain cardmember information through stimulus and unemployment scams. As of January 3, 2021, the FTC has received almost 300,000 reports of fraud, identity theft, and other unwanted activity, resulting in over $253 million in losses.

Mitigating threats

Failure to effectively address threats results in financial risk and carries reputational and regulatory risk that could harm a credit union’s core business.

Education for both employees and cardmembers is important. Employee education should cover what threats look like and how to deal with them if they arise, while cardmember education should include trends in cyberattacks and how to protect credit card information when using mobile and digital services.

Credit unions also should offer payment solutions backed by secure technology, such as biometrics and strong password requirements. On the back end, solutions should employ robust fraud and unusual activity detection.

Partner with Elan for peace of mind

Many credit unions choose a partner like Elan that can offer cutting-edge solutions to alleviate the need to invest in house, which can be costly and complicated. Elan employs state-of-the-art fraud protection and security to protect partner and cardmember data. Elan’s strategies are comprehensive and intelligence-driven.

With an Elan-managed credit card program, partners can focus on serving members instead of worrying about cybersecurity.

Download the whitepaper “Protecting Cardmembers Against Cybersecurity and Fraud Threats in the New Normal.”

About Elan Financial Services
For over 50 years, Elan has offered an outsourced partnership solution, providing credit unions the ability to offer a competitive credit card program. Visit

CHRIS DRAACK is national sales director at Elan Financial Services.