O2 trials new service to tackle card fraud abroad

21 Jan 2016

O2 is launching a new service aimed at reducing the risk of card fraud when customers travel abroad.

In partnership with credit card provider MBNA, O2 has developed a Travel Alert system, that uses mobile roaming data to tell a traveller’s bank or card issuer when they’re abroad.


Rather than notifying their card provider every time they travel, travellers can opt into the Travel Alert system, which automatically sends a message when O2 detects their phone is in a different country, reducing the risk of having their card declined while abroad.

If the user's card transaction and mobile location don’t match, the card issuer can then opt to review the transaction.

Initial testing of the system show fewer card declines for participants and allowed banks to more efficiently protect customers from fraud both in and out of the country.

The service has initially been trialled with users of MBNA cards, but O2 says it is "working hard to make Travel Alerts available to everyone before this summer holiday season, regardless of their bank or mobile provider".

Smartphones were recently voted a traveller's most indispensable companion (see news, January 20)

Last year, fraud committed abroad on UK issued cards increased by 23 per cent to £150m. The average amount stolen from each account was close to £2,000.

Sam Walsh

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