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Mastercard partners with Singapore Police Force to implement new fraud-fighting device that tackles card crime

To combat fraud, Mastercard today announced its partnership with the Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force to implement the Mastercard Forensic Reader (MFR) - the world’s first device to 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 is said to 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, “Mastercard had been working very closely with the CAD in fighting payment card fraud since the 1980s. Besides providing invaluable assistance in our day-to-day investigations, Mastercard has also partnered CAD and other organizations in efforts to prevent payment card fraud. Mastercard’s donation of 10 pieces of Mastercard Forensic Reader will enhance CAD’s ability to investigate into payment card fraud and related offences.”

Derek Pak, Regional Head, Customer Fraud Management, Asia Pacific, Mastercard, said, “With criminals constantly thinking of new ways to bypass security systems, industry-wide collaboration has never been of greater importance when staying one step ahead of the game. The Mastercard Forensic Reader is a practical example of how we’re putting our expertise and resources to innovating new ways to fight fraud, 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.”

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

Key features of the MFR include:

  • 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.
  • Greater flexibility: The reader is designed to be able to read chip, magnetic stripe or contactless
    cards.
  • Data security: The MFR meets industry standards and does not store any card information.
  • 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 continues 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.