Visa wants to track your smartphone to stop credit card fraud

13 Feb 2015

As a way of negating the need to ring your bank before any trip abroad, credit card company Visa is looking to implement a new service that tracks where you are.

A fairly standard process for people who travel is the fact that, in many cases, informing their bank ahead of their trip is the only way to ensure purchases made by card are not declined.

By working with banks – piggybacking on their mobile apps, to be more specific – ‘Mobile Location Confirmation’ will in essence provide the financial institution with geolocation data, live, to ensure purchases don’t raise red flags.

When a cardholder’s mobile device is in the same location as the payment transaction, the issuing financial institution can more confidently approve the transaction.

“Wherever you are in the world, we want Visa transactions to be the most secure, convenient and seamless payment choice,” said Visa’s Mark Nelsen.

“By matching the location of the cardholder through a cell phone or other mobile device, to the location of the purchase, Visa’s new service will enable banks to feel more confident about authorising a transaction that might otherwise have been declined due to suspicion of fraud.”

The service will be rolled out in April in the US, on a purely optional basis. By using Wi-Fi on occasion while abroad consumers will maintain their side of the bargain, and they can opt out at any stage.

“Through Visa’s Mobile Location Confirmation service, we’re enabling more precise fraud monitoring, which creates a better payment experience for travellers, assists merchants and reduces unnecessary operational costs for financial institutions,” added Nelsen.

Visa image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic