Secure Plastic

Dec 02, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Sampath Bank has launched chip-embedded credit cards in a bid to outsmart credit card fraudsters who are increasingly targeting the country, officials said.

Countries like Malaysia which had become credit card ‘hot spots’ had managed to fight off fraud with computer chip-embedded ‘smart’ cards.

“Due to chip technology Malaysia from being a fraud hot spot is best in class now,” says Nirosha De Silva senior manager of Sampath Bank’s card unit.

“Because of the stringent rules in Malaysia the fraudsters have moved to other countries in Asia and Sri Lanka is now a hot spot.”

Sampath installed its first acquiring machine capable of reading chip cards at Odel, a popular store in Colombo, which the banks says is the country’s first.

Sri Lanka central bank says the move will improve the integrity of electronic transactions.

“The chip based system will bring greater confidence amongst merchants and customers,” Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said.

In the Asia Pacific region fraud losses are estimated 44 million dollars third quarter 2008 according Visa figures, officials said.

Unlike the older magnetic strip card