Mako Networks and IP Solutions International Fight Growing Australian Card Fraud

Mako Networks recently confirmed a new partnership with IP Solutions International to bring enhanced payment card security services to the Australian market. The two companies have entered into an agreement for IP Solutions to sell Mako’s Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) services for card-present merchants as merchantsecure, a bundled solution tailored for distributed enterprises such as franchisors and retail chains.

IP Solutions is a provider of PCI DSS compliant e-commerce solutions to ASX top 50 and Fortune 500 companies, boasting a Level 1 PCI DSS certification and recognized expertise in the payment processing and card data security fields. Meanwhile, Mako Networks has developed a unique leadership position in PCI DSS services through its patented cloud-managed system that enforces compliance on business networks, with its own Level 1 PCI DSS certification.

The new merchantsecure offering will allow IP Solutions to unify its array of PCI DSS compliant solutions, providing a complete portfolio of services for both online and bricks-and-mortar businesses to mitigate credit card fraud risk.

“This new partnership brings together the best of two PCI-compliant businesses,” says Bill Farmer, Mako Networks CEO. “With IP Solutions’ expertise in compliance for online e-commerce and Mako’s unique accreditation for PCI protection at card-present merchants, this partnership represents the total package.”

Australian merchants have been particularly hard-hit by card fraud incidents in the past six months. In late November, Australian Federal Police arrested 16 gang members accused of stealing credit card data from more than 100 small- and medium-sized businesses and cashing out at least AUD$30 million. Authorities said the syndicate had access to at least 500,000 card numbers, and was the largest card data theft in Australian history.

Earlier in September police broke up a card fraud ring in suburban Sydney, seizing more than 15,000 fake credit cards with a potential value of AUD$37.5 million and arresting eight suspects.

“Card fraud at retailers and restaurant chains has been a growing concern in Australia,” says Michael Donoghue, Director of Corporate Payment Solutions for IP Solutions. “That’s why we’ve chosen Mako’s technology to help us reach these vulnerable merchants. IP Solutions is now the market leader for end-to-end PCI compliance in Australia.”

Australia has attempted to lower fraud rates in the country by mandating chip-and-PIN (EMV) card technology, which boasts more secure authentication mechanisms. However results have been mixed: card fraud losses in 2011 actually rose to $16.4 million from $12.9 million in 2010 on Australian-issued payment cards—the highest level in six years of recorded data.

Moreover, common EFTPOS cards, which account for 51 percent of all transactions in Australia, do not contain EMV chips and are therefore more vulnerable to counterfeiting.

“Now is the time for Australian merchants to take the threat of card fraud and data breaches seriously. We urge any business that processes, stores or transmits sensitive information such as credit card details to consider the implications to their business; if a breach were to occur, the issues associated with lost customers, fines, business interruption and brand damage could be irreparable,” says Donoghue.

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