Bankcard fraud rate down in 2021

The use of strong authentication has reduced the fraud rate for remote payments in 2021. Despite this encouraging fall in bankcard fraud, the Banque de France is keen to raise public awareness of the new types of fraud affecting individuals.

Cheques become the most frequently defrauded means of payment

Figures unveiled in February 2022 by the Observatoire de la sécurité des moyens de paiement (OSMP), in its activity report "Données-clefs sur la fraude au 1er semestre 2021", show that the bankcard payment fraud rate stood at 0.061% in the first half of 2021, approaching " its historic low ". This drop is directly linked to the fall in the card fraud rate for online payments (0.149%). The organization chaired by the Governor of the Banque de France also sees the effects of strong authentication, noting that by the end of 2021, 97% of buyers were equipped with such a device.

While the fraud rate for bankcard payments is falling, the fraud rate for cheques is rising (0.097% in 2021, compared with 0.088% in 2020). According to OSMP, cheques are " the most defrauded means of payment in France, both in terms of rate and amount ". In fact, cheques accounted for 44% of the 644 million euros in payment fraud recorded a year ago. Although the monitoring tools put in place by banks have enabled 27% of cheque fraud to be thwarted over this period, they have not been sufficient to reduce it considerably.  

Clearly identified types of fraud

Certain types of fraud persist, as not all payments are subject to the strong authentication system. The method used for these frauds is clearly identified by the Banque de France. In most cases, cyber criminals use "phishing" techniques to obtain information about their victims, and do not hesitate to impersonate their bank on the pretext of a fraudulent transaction or attempted fraud. Once they have gained the target's trust, the scammers pretend to carry out security tests or cancellation operations to protect the user. The victim then validates the payment requested on the application.


There are a number of reflexes to adopt in the face of these types of fraud. The Banque de France recommends that savers ignore these solicitations, avoiding any communication that does not use the usual secure channel. Never click on links contained in SMS or e-mail messages. If in doubt, ask your banker for confirmation. Finally, never give your authentication data to a third party. Bear in mind that the bank will never ask for them remotely.