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What does Card Not Present Mean ?

Card Not Present – Classification of credit card transactions where a sale is made without the Merchant having physical access to the consumer’s credit card.

Card not present transaction (CNPMO/TOMail Order / Telephone OrderMOTOEC) is a payment card transaction made where the cardholder does not or cannot physically present the card for a merchant’s visual examination at the time that an order is given and payment effected. It is most commonly used for payments made over Internet, but also mail-order transactions by mail or fax, or over the telephone.

Card not present transactions are a major route for credit card fraud, because it is difficult for a merchant to verify that the actual cardholder is indeed authorizing a purchase.

If a fraudulent CNP transaction is reported, the acquiring bank hosting the merchant account that received the money from the fraudulent transaction must make restitution; whereas with a swiped (card present) transaction, the issuer of the card is liable for restitution. Because of the greater risk, some card issuers charge a greater transaction fee to merchants who routinely handle card not present transactions.

The card security code (commonly CVV2) system has been set up to reduce the incidence of credit card fraud arising from CNP.

Mail Order

If a card is not physically present when a customer makes a purchase, the merchant must rely on the cardholder, or someone purporting to be so, presenting card information indirectly, whether by mail, telephone or over the Internet.

Shipping companies may guarantee delivery of goods to a location, but they are normally not required to check identification and they are usually not involved in processing payments for the merchandise. A common preventive measure for merchants is to allow shipment only to an address approved by the cardholder, and merchant banking systems offer simple methods of verifying this information. Before this and similar countermeasures were introduced, mail order carding was rampant as early as 1992. A carder would obtain the credit card information for a local resident and then intercept delivery of the illegitimately purchased merchandise at the shipping address, often by staking out the porch of the residence.

Small transactions generally undergo less scrutiny, and are less likely to be investigated by either the card issuer or the merchant. CNP merchants must take extra precaution against fraud exposure and associated losses, and they pay higher rates for the privilege of accepting cards. Fraudsters bet on the fact that many fraud prevention features are not used for small transactions.

Merchant associations have developed some prevention measures, such as single-use card numbers, but these have not met with much success. Customers expect to be able to use their credit card without any hassles, and have little incentive to pursue additional security due to laws limiting customer liability in the event of fraud. Merchants can implement these prevention measures but risk losing business if the customer chooses not to use the measures.

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