Telefónica introduces travel alerts for safer banking


Allows banks to verify card transactions abroad using mobile technology

Telefónica has joined forces with fraud management and mobile identity company, TeleSign, to unveil a real time alerts service that will reduce overall operational and fraud management costs to financial services organisations.

The service provides a travel alert to the participating credit card provider or bank when a customer switches their phone on in a new country. The provider uses this travel alert to verify any card payment made in that country.

Telefónica and TeleSign are currently working on agreements with other fraud prevention specialists, additional mobile network operators as well as other banks and credit card companies to ensure customers across the globe (regardless of their card issuer or mobile operator) can benefit from this service.

This is a cross carrier initiative that is expected to roll out on other carriers in the second half of 2015. Telefónica meanwhile is working towards this becoming an industry standard.

All a customer needs to opt-in is to provide their mobile number to their participating bank or credit card provider.

The solution is optimised to work with even the most basic phones and there is no need to download apps or for data roaming to be on.

Because this new service is consent-based, customers remain in complete control of their data at all times and have the ability to terminate their participation in the service at any point through their bank. The mobile location data shared is only used to verify a particular person’s country location and is processed in highly secure systems using encryption that meets strict regulatory requirements.

Phil Weston, head of mobile and digital communications at MBNA, said: “We’re always looking for new ways to innovate and make it easier for customers to transact with us. We’re delighted with the results from the trial of the travel alerts service we’ve run with Telefónica over last 18 months. The trial proved extremely successful with a marked reduction in operational costs driven by a decrease in customer calls to advise of travel plans and a positive impact on card approval rates. We’re looking forward to rolling this out beyond a trial when available on other carriers.”

Meanwhile, Phil Douty, director B.I and Big Data monetisation at Telefónica, said:  “Telefónica is always looking at new ways to provide innovative and valued digital services for our customers, including leveraging the expertise of strategic partners where it makes sense. TeleSign proved the right partner to help us take travel alerts to market as a cross-carrier service. Given all the strong fraud prevention benefits and customer experience improvements seen in the trial with MBNA, we now want to help create a standard that is used by multiple mobile carriers and banks across the world.”



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