Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fake Credit Card Factory

Mobile banking and payments, in some ways, are about changing a physical world of payment instruments into a virtual world. The need to issue physical payment instruments (like credit cards) will ultimately be replaced by digital tokens stored on a device carried by individuals. The mobile phone is this device for now.

A virtual, digital token, held by a subscriber and secured by a private key is of course much more secure than a physical token. It is much more difficult to copy and to re-produce, while it is (at the same time) much more easy to cancel and to re-issue.

It is within this frame of mind that I find articles about the manufacturing of fraudulent card of interest. One such case was recently uncovered in South Africa (Read more here.) According to this article, the sophistication of the fake credit card factory was quite high. How many fake credit cards are in circulation in the physical world? And, will banks tell us, knowing that it could lead to a major breakdown in trust?

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