This article was originally published on reverb, Drake Cooper’s reflections on advertising, creativity, and trends. Read more.

The hidden threat of EMV

Security breaches. Network attacks. Hacks. Everyday, there’s a new story about online fraud. Banks are working overtime to roll out new technology to help prevent fraud. But could these new preventative measures actually lead to more fraud?

October 1st marked the target deadline for banks and retailers across the U.S. to roll out bank cards with microchips known as EMV chips. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, the three companies that originally developed the technology. The EMV chip is a metallic square embedded on the front of a credit card.

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Every time a card with an EMV chip is used, a unique one-time code is generated, making it hard for crooks to duplicate the card number to produce fake credit cards.

What does EMV chip in pin technology mean for consumers? It means instead of swiping a credit card, consumers must insert or “dip” their card into the terminal then leave the card there for a few seconds until the transaction is complete. Some techies have coined this action as “Dip the Chip.”

It Sounds Like A Win-Win, But How Will This Technology Effect Online Sellers?

This new technology appears to be good news when it comes to fighting fraud, but for merchants who sell products online, it’s actually very bad news for two reasons. While EMV chips make it almost impossible to counterfeit a credit card, they don’t prevent online fraud. This means fraudsters facing chip in pin roadblocks will naturally shift focus and work to hack online transactions instead. Additionally, as of October 1st, merchants, rather than the credit card companies or banks, are liable for magnetic stripe fraud. This is a double dose of bad news for online merchants who are heading into their busiest sales quarter of the year.

We spoke to our client, Kount, who is a leading supplier of fraud prevention technology who’s proprietary technology reviews billions of data points and provides maximum protection for some of the world’s best-known brands. Don Bush, Vice President of Marketing at Kount had an interesting take on the introduction of EMV technology into the United States saying, “New technologies and solutions aimed at decreasing fraud have created a false premise that transactions are becoming more secure than they are in reality. Fraud has risen dramatically in every market that EMV has been implemented, and as the U.S. undergoes this shift as one of the largest e-commerce economies in the world, fraudsters’ movement to online will have a global effect.”

Our Innovative Trade Show Presentation Helps Kount Raise Awareness of Increased Online Risks

To combat these increased risks, Kount asked Drake Cooper to generate new, innovative ideas for their upcoming trade show booth display to demonstrate the threat of online fraud and cut through the clutter of the trade show floor. Creative concepting guided us to the theme “What You Can’t See, Can Hurt You” as we developed a unique hack of a traditional medium, the television, to illustrate the abstract idea of online fraud – an invisible, yet ever-present threat. To execute the concept, we removed the layer of polarizing film from displays at the trade show booth, which in turn masked the on-screen images to the naked eye. In fact, the only way for the images to be seen was through special polarized glasses. Working with Drake Cooper’s video production company Tapeless, we created a compelling and eerie video to illustrate the invisible concept of fraud and the ever-present threat that lies beneath the surface. When looking through the glasses you see images on-screen of the fraudster working behind the scenes – entering passwords, accessing account information and downloading money.

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Like a movie trailer, we didn’t want to tell the whole story we were instead aiming to evoke an emotion in the viewer. The tone of the video is purposely visceral and invasive with strange music combined with video effects to leave the viewer feeling uncomfortable and uneasy. Because of the nature of the trade show environment, we used a montage treatment on the video so it’s easy for someone to watch the video at any point and still get the message.

Exciting Trade Show Results

Drake Cooper’s creative team and video company Tapeless collaborated to concept and produce the video in less than two weeks. The new concept, display screens, and video attracted new visitors to the booth, generated buzz and resulted in new sales leads for Kount. In short, our concept was a hit!