Home > Credit Cards > The Secret Code That Could Stop Online Credit Card Fraud

Comments 0 Comments

If you’ve ever bought anything online, you were probably prompted to enter that three-digit code on the back of your debit or credit card to complete your purchase. You may not have thought much about it — you just wanted to order those new shoes as quickly as possible — but these codes (called CVV, or card verification value) are supposed to help verify that you physically have the card when conducting a card-not-present transaction as a way to help prevent fraud.

While this is a good step, fraudsters have plenty of ways to get your CVV and use the card, even if it’s in your wallet. (Just take a look at all the problems retailers have faced due to hackings.) But Oberthur Technologies, a French digital payment security company, reportedly believes they have developed a remedy to this problem.

With their technology (dubbed Motion Code), instead of using the printed code on the back of your plastic, a consumer would have a dynamic digital CVV that refreshes on an hourly (or half-hourly) basis. That means that, if a thief were to get ahold of your card numbers somehow, they’d only have a small window of time to use the CVV before the code changed and they’re left without access.

The code is still three digits, is listed on the back of the card and is powered by a thin lithium battery on the inside of the card, which, according to a Network World report, has a “lifespan of about three or more years.” (You can see more about how this card works in the video below.)

A trial of Motion Code was conducted with 1,000 French customers about a year ago and two more French banks are about to issue Motion Code cards, according to the Network World. The report also notes that these cards do cost issuers more than the standard EMV cards most people carry, but the expense might be worth it if the technology does away with “card-not-present fraud and the associated costs with combating the fraud.”

Keeping Your Money Safe

While it may not be possible to prevent theft entirely, it’s still a good idea to take precautions. If you’re shopping online, make sure you’re using secure payment sites (think those that start with https), don’t store your payment information in a browser or on a site, and enable NFC or RFID transactions.

Beyond that, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your accounts for signs of fraud. Look for purchases you don’t recognize on your credit card statement or, better yet, consider setting up transaction monitoring with your bank or credit card issuer. Another good option is to review your credit reports for sudden changes, which could be a sign of deep identity theft. You can get copies of your credit reports from the three major bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian — once a year by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also see two of your free credit scores, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.

Image: LDProd

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team